The king is dead, long live the king! On Tuesday, the World Poker Tour announced that it is retiring the WPTDeepStacks brand, replacing it with a new splinter tour, WPT Prime. WPT Prime will debut this spring with three events in Asia.
“Our continued efforts to improve the WPT live tournament experience will benefit more players than ever during Season XX,” said senior director of global tour management Cathy Zhao, who, has been in charge of the development of WPT Prime. “WPT Prime is the embodiment of our goal to provide the best possible poker tournament experience to players everywhere, and our strong relationships with our global partners will elevate the WPT experience around the world.”
WPT Prime will be similar to the Main Tour, with trophies, action clocks, online coverage, WPT Player of the Year points, and the like, just at lower buy-ins.
The first WPT Prime stop is at the Crown Poker Club in Hanoi, Vietnam from May 19 to May 30. The five-day Main Event will run May 26-30 and cost VND25,000,000 ($1,100 USD).
In the summer, WPT Prime moves to Phnom Penh, Cambodia August 11-23 at the NagaWorld Integrated Resort. The $1,100 buy-in Main Event is scheduled for August 18-22.
There is another wide gap until the third Asian stop on the WPT Prime tour, with Taiwan not happening until November. The Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association (CTP) in Taipei will host WPT Prime November 11-21 and the TWD30,000 ($1,077 USD) buy-in Main Event is slated for November 17-21.
“As we announce more of our Season XX events around the world after a tumultuous period, we are absolutely delighted to be back in Vietnam, Cambodia and Taiwan,” said Angelica Hael, VP of global tour management. “Now that international borders are opening up, the incredible hospitality of Crown Poker Club, NagaWorld Integrated Resort and Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association will once again be on display for regional and global players.”
This is the second time in three weeks that the World Poker Tour has emphasized the “World” in its name. At the end of January, the WPT announced three new stops in Australia. The only one that had dates set was WPTDeepStacks Sydney, running March 30-April 11 at The Star Sydney casino.
The other two new stops will be at The Star Gold Coast in Broadbeach, one of which will be a Main Tour Stop.
That Sydney event will be one of the last WPTDeepStacks stops. The three on the schedule right now will be final three for the WPTDeepStacks brand: Amsterdam March 25-April 2, Sydney, and Thunder Valley (California) April 19-May 1.
There are still only three Main Tour Stops with definitive dates on this season’s schedule. The next one is the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in April.