The World Poker Tour (WPT) has a lot of really exciting and interesting things going on right now that thrust it squarely into the spotlight following the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) that was just completed in Paris, France. There are currently two tournaments in Europe that are trying to attract two very different types of players to the felt. The first of those tournaments is the WPT stop in Paris itself with a reasonable buy-in that tries to catch everyone right before they return home. The other is the second Alpha8 series in London right now, which is close enough to attract all the high rollers who were at the WSOPE.
The WPT National Event in Paris makes a triumphant return and currently has 24 players remaining. The WPT was hoping to get a large crowd of international players who had just completed the WSOPE and they succeeded by most measures. The tournament, which features a €7,500 buy-in, attracted 187 entries and still has major names left including defending champion Matt Salsburg, Kara Scott, Christian Lindley, Jason Koon, Mohsin Charania and Marvin Rettenmaier. The tournaments also featured deep runs from Barry Greenstein, Tony G and many other names that readers are familiar with. With three eliminations needed for the event to reach the money, it’s going to be a tense day before a winner is crowned over the course of action during the next two days.
The tournament might seem a little small, but it’s not that small compared to the numbers for the WSOPE Main Event that attracted 375 entries and was completed over a week ago. Also, as the WPT hasn’t had a long history of these events across different parts of the world, it’s good to see these crowds that are sure to continue growing. This also marks one of the first times that a WPT event outside of the US is going to be broadcast on TV in America, which will only do more to grow awareness for all of these events. The WPT is in South Africa, Jacksonville and Montreal to round out of the month, which will mark the most ambitious portions of the schedule.
The event in Paris isn’t the only thing going on right now for the WPT and arguably it’s not even the biggest event, as the Alpha8 series is conducting its second event. The Alpha8 series, for those unfamiliar, is a series of events that sport a $100,000 buy-in and are meant to attract the largest names in poker. The event in London has done exactly that and the registration isn’t even closed. Antonio Esfandaria, Sam Trickett, Tony G, Viktor Blom, Erik Seidel and many others have turned up for the event and some have even entered 2 or 3 times. Currently leading is Tobias Reinkemeier, who has nearly 25% of the total chips in play, which is good for a chip lead nearly double that of 2nd place.
The total number of entries sits at 21 right now, which might be seen as kind of a disappointment because that is a very small number and doesn’t even equal three tables of players as there are many reentries. The other important note here is that there are large cash games going on right now, which might actually end up with some players not showing up to play in the event. The appearance of Blom, who is still alive in the tournament, is a special treat, as he doesn’t travel to many events. It will be interesting to see who registers for the tournament over the next couple of hours before play starts on Tuesday. If it is a very low number of players, expect many to call this tournament a failure. That would mark yet another disappointing turnout for this series that the WPT hoped would really take off.
Even with a failure of an Alpha8 event for the World Poker Tour, it’s still an impressive result as the event in Paris got a good turnout and they continue to grow the brand on a global scale, which was one of the major criticisms just a few years ago. As these tournaments play down to a win over the next two days, PokerUpdate will provide you with recaps of all the important information and tournament results.