In today’s poker world, it is not unusual for players to have to make decisions regarding what tournaments they want to take part in. Rare is it, however, that the tournaments in question are of such luminous status that people will make note of who is going where. That’s what we’re looking at when it comes down to the decisions in December and whether to go to the Bahamas or to head to Las Vegas for two monstrous schedules.
Hellmuth to the Caribbean, Ivey to Las Vegas
The World Series of Poker will be holding its inaugural tournament festival in the Bahamas this December. From December 3-14, the Atlantis Paradise Island (the former home of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure) will play host to the fifteen events that will make up their roster. In an unusual move, the WSOP has taken (or maybe the players have) to announcing players who have committed to attend the first running of this tournament schedule.
Of note is that seventeen-time WSOP bracelet winner (you must mention this, it’s in the contract) Phil Hellmuth will be in attendance, looking to add to his bracelet count. He is joined by such poker luminaries as Shaun Deeb, Daniel Negreanu, Jonathan Little, and Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, among a host of others. Of course, it wouldn’t be a WSOP without Lon McEachern and Norman Chad being in attendance, although it isn’t known if these two will be combatants or full-time commentators.
Not to be outdone, the World Poker Tour has been actively announcing (once again, or the players have) who will be taking part in their tournament schedule. From November 29 through December 23, the WPT will have a full run of the Wynn Las Vegas, with a plethora of tournaments that are sure to draw the big guns. Some of the names announced are going to be jumping into events that will keep them from partaking in the WSOP action.
Phil Ivey is the headliner for the WPT in Las Vegas, and he has a host of gunslingers who will be coming along with him. Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cares, Chris Brewer, Orpen Kisacikoglu, and many others will be taking part in tournaments during December in the Wynn Las Vegas poker room. There will be multiple big tournaments for these, and many other, players to take part in.
So, What’s the Draw?
The WPT World Championship is the draw for the players at Wynn Las Vegas. The WPT and Wynn have taken the audacious step of putting a $40 million guarantee on the WPT World Championship, which will utilize four Day Ones to try to build up a player pool that can eclipse that level. If for some reason the above-named players strike out in the WPT World Championship, they will have other events that should capture their attention.
The WPT is bringing back a former staple of the WSOP, the Big One for OneDrop, the million-dollar buy-in tournament. That tournament has already seen approximately ten players who have verbally stated they will play in that tournament, including Ivey and Kisacikoglu. If that is too rich for some of the players, there will also be a $25,000 High Roller tournament on the schedule and a $50,000 Alpha8 event.
The WSOP is trying to keep up with this by spreading $51 million in guarantees across their fifteen-tournament schedule. The WSOP will also have a set of High Roller tournaments, their $25,000 GGMillions High Roller Championship, the $50,000 Super High Roller, and the $100,000 Ultra High Roller. With each of the fifteen tournaments comes a level of prestige that the WPT cannot equal – the WSOP bracelet that each winner will take down.
So, who will reign supreme? Is the answer in Paradise, or does it lie in Sin (City)? The WSOP and the WPT will battle it out in December as players make their choices.