Chip leader for a year, WPT films delayed final tables

Jon Pill
Posted on: March 05, 2021 04:40 PST

Last year there were three World Poker Tour main event final tables that managed to fall through the crack that split 2020 into a live poker portion and an online poker portion.

The main events of the WPT Gardens Poker Championship, the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open, and the L.A. Poker Classic were all played live. However, once they had got down to the TV final table of six players, the tournament director called a halt to proceedings.

The idea was to shoot all three final tables in a batch several weeks later. For three days in late-March/early-April 2020, the WPT would take over the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for filming. The final tables would be resolved at that time in front of those cameras.

But between the idea and the reality, the motion and the act, fell the shadow. COVID-19 made poker a faux-pas. Suddenly, packed TV studios looked like death traps. Shooting went into postponement.

That postponement is nearly over. Recently, the WPT cut a deal with PokerGO for the use of their Vegas studio. The set will host three final tables from 2020, plus a bonus event from this year.

These events were previously scheduled to finish in December last year, but were then further delayed.

The change of venue and dates may be down to the WPT's change in ownership. The HyperX Esports Arena is owned by Allied Esports, who recently sold the WPT brand.

Chance Kornuth was among the 18 players who have been waiting for closure. He tweeted, "Chip leader for over a year now. Can't wait to play a week from today!"

He'll need to brush up on his opponents again.

Who plays who, and when?

The WPT Gardens Poker Championship will pick up on March 10th at the PokerGO studio.

When play begins again, it will have been suspended for 422 days. I hope someone remembered to stop the clock on the blinds.

The WPT's deal with PokerGO gives them the studio again for three days a week later. From March 16th to March 18th the WPT will shoot the other two final tables from 2020, along with the final table from this year's WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.

They tossed the SHR Poker Showdown into the mix in the name of efficiency.

The full list of events and shooting dates therefore are as follows:

  • the 2020 WPT Gardens Poker Championship, now playing on March 10th, 2021
  • after a few days, the 2020 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open, now playing on May 16th, 2021
  • then the 2020 WPT L.A. Poker Classic, now playing on May 17, 2021
  • and finally the 2021 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, now playing on May 18th, 2021.

PokerGO's Mori Eskandani has been touting the streaming site's busy upcoming schedule. However, Eskandani did not mention if the loan of PokerGO's TV set was a toe in the waters of a wider partnership with the WPT.

Featured image source: Flickr