The World Poker Tour has announced the first round of 2021 dates for its Season XIX. And something key is missing from this “World” tour.
The announcement includes nine events between now and the end of the year. Seven of the events will be stops on the main tour, with the other two being a WPT Deepstacks event at the Venetian and a “Special” heads-up event in partnership with Poker King.
That’s an unusual state of affairs for such an international series. Such are the times. COVID and travel restrictions remain unpredictable, and the PokerGO studio doesn’t travel well from its home at the Aria.
“Live poker is back at full strength on the World Poker Tour and we are ecstatic to once again be able to provide a full and exciting schedule of events for our players,” said Angelica Hael, who acts as Vice President of Global Tour Management for the WPT. “We want to sincerely thank the players and global casino partners for their unwavering support during a challenging year and look forward to showcasing some of the best casino properties in North America.”
Dates and times
The announcement comes late in the day, with five of the nine events taking place before the end of July. There are a few reasons for the timing. In particular, the new dates of the WSOP were a factor.
The WPT is making the most of the new WSOP dates by scheduling around it for the most part. Only the Maryland leg of the WPT overlaps fully with the WSOP’s current scheduled dates. The WPT Seminole Rock’n’Roll Poker Open series will overlap a little with the tail end of the WSOP. But the main event is scheduled solidly after the November Nine will finish up.
The WPT may also have been waiting to get the long-delayed season XVIII final tables out of the way. Several tables were batched up from early-2020 to be played in April 2020, but were then delayed until last month by COVID. Some players waited over 400 days just to be knocked out in 6th place.
Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour, said: “As we emerge from restrictions throughout North America we have bolstered the momentum from last season’s historic numbers and are eager to meet the great demand for WPT events leading up to our twenty-year anniversary in 2022.”
“We are back!” Matt Savage tweeted in response to the WPT’s announcement.
The main events
After the series’ success with a record-breaking WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open in Florida, the WPT is leaning into their SHR partnership with two events: the WPT SHR Tampa and the WPT SHR Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open.
The WPT is also throwing in a little variety with that “special” event. The full title of the event is the WPT Heads Up Poker Championship Presented By Poker King. Poker King is the mobile-exclusive online poker site that bagged Ivey and Dwan as its sponsored pros.
Other classic stops on the schedule include The Venetian, Choctaw Casino Resort, and the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio in Vegas. The last will be a $10,400 buy-in.
However, the list does not complete the schedule for Season XIX. Instead, it fleshes out the plan for 2021. Season XIX will continue in 2022, and further details about the remaining events in the season will be forthcoming later according to WPT Twitter replies.
“More events could be announced in the future for Season XIX,” the WPT’s account tweeted.
Featured image source: Twitter