It seems to be a bit of odd scheduling for the World Poker Tour. While the first event of their Season XIX schedule kicks off in Tampa on Friday, the WPT will also be running an international event online. The WPT Heads Up Championship is set to begin on Friday alongside the first-ever WPT Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Main Event. The Heads Up Championship will most certainly feature some of the biggest names in the game with a price tag befitting of a heavyweight fight, while the Tampa tournament will be a utter street fight with a much larger field squaring off against each other.

Dwan/Polk Headlines Opening Round Action

32 players will be stepping into the breech for the WPT Heads Up Championship, and there will be some significant money on the line. The buy-in for the tournament is a hefty $25,000, making for a prize pool of $800,000 that surely has the participants salivating. There are also methods in place to attempt to make sure that skill might be more of a factor in the outcome than sheer luck.

Instead of a “one and done” style of bracket tournament, the WPT has decided to make each round a best of three match. That means that, although one of the celebrity participants may take down a skilled player once, they are going to have to do it again to move on in the event. In the finals, it gets even tougher; the championship will be decided in a best of five battle that should test the skills of both survivors.

There are some interesting matchups in the tournaments First Round bracket. Leading the way is the matchup of Tom Dwan against Doug Polk, which should draw the majority of the eyes of the poker world on Friday. The action on Friday will also have Wiktor ‘Limitless’ Malinowski squaring off against Nick Petrangelo and Linus Loeliger matching up against heads up veteran Olivier Busquet.

Eight matches will be contested on Friday on the Poker King site, meaning another eight will take place on Saturday. A monumental battle will be in store for both Manig Loeser and Phil Ivey, while Andrew Lichtenberger and Stephen Chidwick will be facing off in another match on Saturday. All of the competition will be streamed on the WPT’s Twitch channel, making for an entertaining weekend of poker not only online but live.

First round action will be conducted on Friday and Saturday, with the Round of 16 playing on Sunday and Monday. Here’s a look at the bracket breakdown for the 2021 WPT Heads Up Championship:

WPT Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Also Starts Friday

For those who might think that $25K is a bit rich for their blood, the WPT has a tournament on tap in the live arena. The inaugural WPT Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Main Event begins at noon on Friday, a $3500 buy in tournament with a $2 million guarantee. The chances of the guarantee being met are extremely good as the event features UNLIMITED buy-ins.

As a method of comparison, the event that finished off Season XVIII for the World Poker Tour is a fine example of what might happen this weekend in Tampa. The WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open took place a few hundred miles to the southeast of Tampa in Hollywood, FL, and the action was incendiary. The format in Hollywood was similar to that in Tampa, except that there was only a singular re-entry for players in Hollywood over their two-Day Ones of play. With the unlimited re-entries in Tampa over the two-Day Ones of action, it is extremely possible that the record set in Hollywood – 2482 entries – and the nearly $8 million prize pool may be in jeopardy.

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