WPT World Championship to boast shocking $40 million guarantee in December

Brad Willis
Posted on: August 31, 2023 03:30 PDT

The World Poker Tour knew its 2022 WPT World Championship at the Wynn in Las Vegas had a consequence beyond startling the poker community with a $15 million guarantee and beyond the still shocking prize pool that eventually grew to more than $29 million: people were going to start asking, "Well, how can you top this?"

Minutes ago, the WPT delivered its answer.

“We wanted to match that expectation with a guarantee that no live poker tournament has ever seen before,” said Adam Pliska, WPT CEO.

That guarantee? The 2023 WPT World Championship will guarantee a prize pool of $40 million.

That's not for the entire December festival. That's for just one event.

Forty. Million. Dollars. Guaranteed.

The WPT returns to the Wynn

The 2022 World Championship festival saw the WPT stomp its biggest footprint ever on the Vegas Strip. That year's World Championship drew an eye-popping 2,960 entries, a prize pool worth $29,008,000, and a $4,136,000 first prize. Canada's Eliot Hudon took it down with a smile that was nearly as big as the Wynn trophy in front of him.

“I’m more in poker for winning more than the money,” Hudon said in December. “I don’t deserve it any more than these guys. We all know how it goes. Some people have more luck in some spots.”

Eliot Hudon

Before the 2022 event had even finished, the WPT and the Wynn had made clear that the event and its venue were more than a one-off venture. Both companies had already started working on figuring out how to make 2023 bigger. For the man in charge of poker at the Wynn, it's been a game-changer.

“The astonishing support and excitement we’ve seen from the poker community after just one year is nothing like I’ve seen before,” said Ryan Beauregard, Executive Director of Poker Operations at Wynn Las Vegas.

With that in mind, the WPT officially announced earlier this year that it would return to the Wynn. At the time, Beauregard hinted at the blockbuster news to come without fully revealing just how big it might be.

"Due to last year’s incredible turnout and the strong rapport we built with WPT, we have extended the festival dates and will create a tournament schedule to make 2023 even more memorable," Beauregard said in March.

WPT releases full World Championship festival schedule

In addition to the $40 million World Championship guarantee announcement, the WPT also released the full schedule for the December festival which includes a series of poker events that begins November 29th and runs all the way through to December 21st.

Among the highlights on the just-released schedule:

  • The $10,400 WPT World Championship ($40 million guaranteed) | December 12-21
  • 2023 WPT Prime Championship ($5 million guaranteed) | December 7-12
  • $1 million Big One for One Drop | December 18-20
  • $25,700 High Roller | December 17-18
  • $50,000 WPT Alpha 8 | December 20-21
  • $600 Multi-Flight NLHE | November 29-December 4
  • WPT Ladies World Championship ($250K guaranteed) | December 6-8
  • $1,600 Mystery Bounty
  • $1,100 Seniors Championship
  • $1,100 HORSE Championship
  • $3,000 Dealer's Choice Championship

You can find the whole 2023 WPT World Championship schedule here.

WPT Mike Sexton Champions Cup Joe Giron/Poker.org

The WPT's announcement indicates this news won't be the last we'll hear about the upcoming festival and that there still could be more announcements on the horizon. Nevertheless, the WPT's push to outdo its 2022 effort began in earnest today.

“The journey to December begins now, and we plan on giving players an unforgettable experience at Wynn Las Vegas," Pliska said.