No less than three World Poker Tour (WPT) titles will be decided this week with the final tables of the WPT L.A. Poker Classic, WPT Gardens Poker Championship and
WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open being played in the HyperX Esports Arena within the Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Playing final tables of major WPT competitions within HyperX Esports Arena is a new policy undertaken by Allied Esports Entertainment, owner of the World Poker Tour and a number of Esport venues.
There was a $1.015 million prize awaiting the winner of the first televised final, the L.A. Poker Classic, where Darren Elias – who has already won four WPT titles – was the hot favourite courtesy of a commanding chip lead.
He had to make do with a $473,280 payday for third as fellow American, David Baker, took the title.
The WPT Gardens Poker88 Championship, staged in the Gardens Casino near Long Beach, California, reached its final six players in January but its contenders had to wait until Tuesday to contest the deciding table and battle for the $548,825 first-prize.
Likewise, in New Jersey, 1,415 players pulled-up a $3,500 entry fee to play WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open in the last few days of January.
Just six remain with Dave Farah leading the chip counts with a 126-big blind stack (of 18.8 million chips). The winner’s purse is 728,430 with the first player eliminated guaranteed 154,734.
This Week In Europe
On the European side of ‘the pond’ a WSOP International Circuit festival gets underway this week in the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.
Over 19 days of poker, 15 WSOP gold rings will be handed out with competition buy-ins ranging from €299 to €5,300 for a No-Limit Hold’em High Roller event.
New Home for Merged Awards
Meanwhile, the Global Poker Index’ American Poker Awards and European Poker Awards have merged into one and this year’s award winners will now be named and honoured at a ceremony in the PokerGO Studio within the Las Vegas Aria Hotel and Casino on April 5th.
The GPI American Poker Awards, which were staged in Los Angeles last year, are only in their fourth year.
Twelve months ago there were twenty categories and awards a figure that is set to remain in 2019 despite the two continents coming together.
The European Poker Awards have a much longer history, being first presented in 2001 ceremony within Helsinki’s Casino Ray. By 2003 the award ceremony had found a new home in Paris’ Aviation Casino.
In more recent times the awards have been nomadic with Monaco’s Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort, Portomaso Casino in Malta and Le Casino Barrière in Deauville, France, playing host.
Amongst the notable previous European award recipients are Peter Eastgate who received the ‘Tournament Performance of the Year’ accolade for winning the 2008 World Series of Poker as did Sweden’s Martin Jacobson for the same feat in 2014.
In 2005 the much lauded Patrik Antonius collected the ‘Rookie of the Year’ title.
Talking about the forthcoming awards Sam Simmons, president of Poker Central, said: “We’re thrilled to deliver streaming coverage of the first-ever Global Poker Awards show live from the PokerGO Studio.
“We look forward to celebrating the achievements of the industry’s best and brightest while providing PokerGO subscribers a front row seat for all the festivities.”
Eric Danis, GPI president, was equally enthusiastic adding: “Our global initiatives behind the European Poker Awards and the American Poker Awards come together starting this year.
“We’re excited to bring recognition to the poker world’s best players and most prominent industry contributors on an unprecedented scale.”
Walsall Fundraiser for ‘Mad’ Marty
Chirpy ‘Mad’ Marty Wilson, who has been a popular feature on the UK poker scene for over twenty years, has suffered one of the worst bad-beats imaginable with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
Wilson has worn several hats in the industry, from player – appearing in the early episodes of the ground-breaking Late Night Poker in the 90s – to tournament director for Matchroom Sport and on to chief entertainments officer for live PokerStars events.
A fund-raising tournament has been organised to support the popular character who is now undergoing a round of chemotherapy. It will take place at the G Casino in Walsall, England, on Friday March 29.