The outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has completely thrown the live poker world, not to mention the tournament poker world, into total chaos. That was somewhat soothed by the World Series of Poker taking some of their events online. Now, the World Poker Tour is looking to pull off the same trick, taking their popular stop that would normally be in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and putting it online with a longtime friend of the organization and the WPT Montreal Online.
WPT Montreal Online to Have $2 Million Guarantee
It was announced on Thursday that the WPT and partypoker will present the WPT Montreal Online. The tournament is expected to start on January 10, when two Day Ones will look to compile the player pool and will conclude with the crowning of a champion on January 17. The tournament will be a $3200 buy-in tournament that offers a $2 million guaranteed prize pool for its combatants.
“The World Poker Tour and partypoker continue their thriving partnership into 2021 as we look forward to crowning another WPT champion online,” said Adam Pliska, the Chief Executive Officer of the World Poker Tour. “Players around the globe have shown their support of WPT Online and the continued prestige on display at our final tables.”
Hermance Blum, who handles the tour outside of the U. S. as the WPT Vice President of European operations, also sounded off. “Another exceptional event for players comes to partypoker this January,” said Blum. “The proven success of limited re-entries and real names carries over to WPT Montreal Online and we are excited to be partnering once more with partypoker.”
“I can’t tell you how excited I am about WPT Montreal being played out on partypoker! Playground is one of my favorite places to play on the globe and the players there are just such a great community,” said John Duthie, partypoker LIVE president. “As the scene of his famous WPT victory it was also one of Mike’s favorite stops on the tour; he’ll be with us all in spirit I’m sure!”
WPT Montreal Holds Significant Place in WPT History
The history of the live WPT Montreal is a storied one. The venue itself, the Playground Poker Club in Montreal, has provided first class treatment of the players and the WPT staff since the inception of the tournament in 2012. The first tournament was a huge success, with Canada’s Jonathan Roy taking down the championship over a 1173 entry field.
Perhaps one of the most endearing championships awarded at the Playground was in 2016. In the WPT Montreal, former WPT commentator and Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton reached an all-time goal of his – to win a WPT championship – when he vanquished a field that included Jake Schwartz, Ema Zajmovic and runner up Benny Chen. It would serve as the cap to the late Sexton’s Hall of Fame career, not to mention the $425,980 (CAN) that he won at the time.
Zajmovic proved she had game at the 2016 WPT Montreal and she took it the rest of the way in early 2017. At the WPT Playground, Zajmovic became the first woman to win an open event (with a buy-in) in February 2017 when she defeated Jean-Francois Bouchard to win the title and etch her name on the (now known as) Mike Sexton WPT Champions’ Cup. Other champions on the WPT at the Playground include Seth Davies, Jonathan Jaffe and Patrick Serda.
There is not a firm slate of events scheduled at this time, but it is to be announced later. If it holds to prior WPT online ventures, there will be some preliminary events that lead up to the start of the WPT Montreal Online Main Event. Satellites have already started on partypoker, some as low as $.01, and should provide a significant pipeline of players who will vie for the (minimum) $2 million guaranteed prize pool.