It’s Prime time: $5 million GTD WPT Prime Championship just one week away

Adam Hampton
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Posted on: November 30, 2023 4:42 am EST

Prime: (adjective) of the greatest relevance or significance; (noun) the most flourishing stage or state; (verb) to prepare for a particular purpose.

The World Poker Tour’s marketing people sure knew what they were doing when they came up with the name for this one. WPT Prime, the globe-trotting tour with the affordable price tag, is approaching the climax of its second season with its marquee event, a four-day tournament with a huge $5 million guarantee (and four Day 1 flights), at Wynn Las Vegas next week.

The $1,100 entry for the WPT Prime Championship, starting December 7, puts it within reach of more players than some of the other, big-ticket events taking place during the WPT takeover of the Wynn in December.

So, with a nod of thanks to Dictionary.com for the above, let’s take a closer look at how the WPT Prime Championship is living up to its name.

(adjective) Of the greatest relevance or significance

The Wynn Las Vegas poker room is filled with players during the WPT Prime Championship in 2022
The WPT Prime Championship is returning to Wynn Las Vegas for its second year

First, let’s address the elephant in the 28-table poker room. There are some other events on the schedule that are destined to grab more headlines than the WPT Prime Championship.

The WPT World Championship (December 12-21), with its record-busting guarantee of $40 million in prize money, is a tough one to overlook. Then there’s the small matter of the Big One for One Drop (December 18-20): the $1 million buy-in tourney is attracting many of the world’s greatest high stakes players, like moths to a particularly fierce flame.

But for many poker players – especially the poor suckers like us with ‘real jobs’ – there’s little practical difference between spending $10k or $1 million on a poker tournament buy-in: both are the stuff of daydreams. The $1,100 entry for the WPT Prime Championship is a more accessible level for recreational players, while the $5 million prize pool is likely to be the biggest many will have competed for.

Those numbers underline the significance of this event for those lower-stakes players taking part, and the timing lends it greater relevance; with high rollers, tour regulars and the bigger bankrolls distracted by the more expensive tourneys on the schedule, the field for the WPT Prime Championship event should be easier to navigate for players with less experience.

It all adds up to a golden opportunity for those looking to make a name – and a relative fortune – for themselves.

(noun) The most flourishing stage or state

A WPT Prime trophy, against the backdrop of  a Vietnamese city skyline
The WPT Prime tour has visited 12 cities in 11 countries during 2023

WPT Prime is one of the newer tours in the World Poker Tour’s portfolio, but it’s already established a reputation for big fields and big prizes. Its very first incarnation, in Vietnam in May 2022, saw the Main Event bust its guarantee by more than 100%.

From Taiwan to Lichtenstein, fields for Prime Main Events often break the 1,000-player mark. The winner of the inaugural WPT Prime Championship, Stephen Song (below), banked over $700k for his first place finish at the Wynn last December. It was the biggest WPT Prime Main Event in its short history, drawing an enormous 5,430 entrants. This year’s event will once again take place at one of the best-regarded casinos on the Strip, featuring four starting flights and a final TV table, and there’s no reason to believe it won’t surpass last year when it comes to players or prize money.

Your local club game, this ain’t. Live poker is flourishing, to be sure, and the WPT Prime Championship offers arguably the best experience for lower-stakes or recreational players, when it comes to breathing the rarified air of top poker competition in an elite setting.

(verb) To prepare for a particular purpose

Poker player Stephen Song celebrates winning the 2022 WPT Prime Championship
In 2022 Stephen Song showed how to bring home the win (with 4-6 offsuit)

With a week until cards are in the air, if you’re looking to follow in Song’s footsteps it’s time to get yourself ready. Here are the essential details you need to know to prepare for your own particular purpose.

  • The $1,100 buy-in includes all fees. Day 1A starts at 11 a.m. on December 7. The remaining starting flights follow on December 8-10, also from 11 a.m.
  • Each Day 1 will each play down until 12.5% of the field remains, who will all be in the money.
  • Starting stacks are 40,000 chips, with 40-minute levels and 9-handed tables on Day 1. Registration is open until the start of level 10 (1k/2k/2k) on each Day 1, around 6:45pm. One re-entry is permitted per starting flight.
  • Days 2 and 3 are December 11-12, each with 60-minute levels and 8-handed play.
  • The final WPT Prime Championship TV table will be 9-handed, taking place a week after Day 3 on December 19.

PokerOrg will be in attendance at Wynn Las Vegas for the WPT Prime Championship, the WPT World Championship, the Big One for One Drop and all the rest of the action. So come back here, or check our socials, for all the latest news (if you’re not busy playing).

Images courtesy of the WPT