While their activities may be a bit limited in the States of America (the next live action for the tour isn’t until March), the World Poker Tour is charging forward with their business around the world. In both the online and live arenas, the WPT will be in action with two large scale events for poker fans around the globe. It may mean some early wakeup calls for those in the States if they want to check out the streaming action, but it will be a way to see some of the international talent on the “big stage” of the WPT.
Asia Focal Point of Both Stops
The Asian continent will be the focus of both the stops that the WPT will make over the next couple of weeks. First up is the WPT Russia, which for a long time was the last live event the WPT held before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. The tour and its entourage will return to Sochi beginning February 23, partnering up with partypoker LIVE, with a live event on the grounds of the Casino Sochi.
The tournament will be a ₽245,000 (roughly $3337 U. S.) Main Event that will feature three normal starting days. The reason that “normal” is used is because there is a fourth “turbo” flight set to run on Thursday (February 25) as a “last chance” for players to get in the event. The champion will be crowned in a live streamed event on Sunday, February 28.
Everyone with the WPT was enthusiastic about the return to Russia just days before the cards fly. “As one of my favorite events of the year, I’m proud WPT is returning to Russia where players can not only expect a high-quality poker experience, but also some of the best off the felt activities the WPT has to offer,” said Adam Pliska, the Chief Executive Officer of the World Poker Tour.
Hermance Blum, the Vice President of WPT Europe, also was ready for action. “We’re pleased to be partnering with partypoker LIVE once again for this event and Casino Sochi who is doing their utmost to keep the playing experience as agreeable as possible while looking carefully after everyone’s safety,” Blum stated during the preamble to the festivities.
Indeed, player safety is going to be of the utmost concern of both the WPT and the Casino Sochi. Temperature checks will be done on all players before entering the tournament arena and masks will be mandatory for the players on the felt. Furthermore, there will be eight-max tables employed and a dedicated team will clean all chips and tables during breaks in the action.
WPT Spring Festival Goes Online
The WPT will head to the online arena for the other event on their immediate schedule. The WPT Spring Festival is underway right now on Poker King in Asia. The tournament will feature another WPT Main Event with a ¥10 million guaranteed (roughly $1.5 million U. S.) that is going to feature several of the top names taking their game online.
Two players that have taken their games to the Asian market of late, Poker Hall of Famer Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan, will be on the virtual felt for the tournament. Both players are ambassadors for Poker King, so it isn’t a surprise that they will be in action. Taking part in the tournament also will be WPT Champions’ Club member Nick Petrangelo and, in a fun move, NBA Hall of Famer Allen Iverson will be in the event.
“As the WPT global footprint continues to expand, we are extremely happy that our players in the Asian region will be able to experience the thrill of a WPT event conveniently from their mobile devices,” Pliska stated. Both events will be live-streamed on the WPT While they wait for some poker rooms to catch back up to the action, the WPT is certainly not putting their efforts into just the States or just into live or online.