As has been mentioned previously on this site, the World Poker Tour made an interesting strategic decision for 2019, delaying the final table of some of its events, not unlike the November Nine format that the World Series of Poker used for a decade. The selected final tables will all be held at the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas inside Luxor Hotel and Casino, $25 million venue that hosted a couple big WPT events at the end of last season.
On Tuesday, the World Poker Tour announced the dates for the Season XVII Main Tour final tables, scheduling them for March 12th through March 14th, 2019.
It’s An…Interesting Idea
In a previous piece, I questioned the thought process behind this delayed final table experiment, especially because the WSOP recently did away with the November Nine. It’s not that the November Nine was a failure, it’s just that it didn’t really achieve anything significant. It seems to me that the World Poker Tour wanted to save money at its various tour stops by not having to construct and take down (and film and pay people, etc.) final table stages. Sure, the WPT will be paying travel expenses for the final table members, but just having one stage setup at the Esports Arena will be much easier logistically.
Additionally, the WPT is probably trying to establish the HyperX Esports Arena as a premier poker venue.
The World Poker Tour is saying that this is good for players because Nevada taxes on their winnings are lower than at most of the tour stops, the players will be treated like royalty in Vegas, and they can take the time off to get coached. Most players, though, likely won’t care much about these things. Having to travel to one venue play for a few days, then schedule more time to play at another venue weeks later could also be a pain in the butt.
I have no doubt that having a bunch of final tables at a sparkly arena will be fun, but I’m not sure how necessary it is. It will be interesting to see how players like it. Perhaps they will love it!
“The World Poker Tour is pleased to announce these final table dates at the state-of-the-art HyperX Esports Arena at Luxor Hotel and Casino,” said Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour, in a press release. “With a 30,000 square-foot multi-level arena, 50-foot-LED screens, and an owner’s box that rivals the best of today’s modern stadiums, there is no place better to watch poker than HyperX Esports Arena.”
Three Final Tables Scheduled
Tuesday, March 12th will be the date of the WPT Gardens Poker Championship six-handed final table. The first five days of the tournament will be at the Gardens Casino in Hawaiian Gardens, California from January 12th through January 16th.
On March 13th, the final table of the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open will be contested. The bulk of that event will be held at the Borgata (obviously) in Atlantic City from January 27th through January 31st.
March 14th will be the final table of the WPT L.A. Poker Classic. That tournament will be the week before the final table, from March 2nd through March 6th at the Commerce Casino.