The World Poker Tour (WPT) and partypoker have announced yet another team-up for an online poker tournament offering, this time with a one-off tourney instead of an expanded tournament series. The new “WPT Online Poker Open powered by partypoker US Network” is open only to players in New Jersey on BorgataPoker.com, BetMGMPoker.com or NJ.PartyPoker.com. Participants do not have to be residents of the Garden State – they simply need to be located within state borders while playing. Thus, I could visit my in-laws in New York, walk to Jersey, and find a public wifi connection to play, if that was a good idea during the current pandemic.
The WPT Online Poker Open will begin on Sunday, June 28 at 5:00pm. The buy-in is $400 ($365 +$35) and it has as $300,000 guaranteed prize pool.
“WPT and partypoker US Network are coming together to provide the New Jersey network of online players the opportunity to compete in a world-class event and take part in a familiar WPT experience,” said the WPT’s VP of Global Tour Management Angelica Hael. “We look forward to our first event with partypoker US Network and a great start to a long-term partnership.”
Now, I should say at this point that when comparing what is currently showing up in the poker client lobby and what the WPT has said in its announcement, things can get a little bit confusing. The lobby makes it look like the WPT Online Poker Open is a phased tournament. That is, a tournament with multiple starting flights feeding into the final day. It kind of is, but it is not exactly.
See, the WPT’s press release makes no mention of phases, only satellites. The software, though, currently lists two $45 “phases,” one on June 23 and one on June 25. And they do seem like phases, as the players who are still alive after Level 25 advance to the tournament on June 28 with the chips they have at the end of that first phase. That’s how phases work. Players can play in both $45 phases if they’d like and take their largest chip stack to June 28.
But the WPT Online Poker Open can be bought into directly for $400, which is not typically how phases work.
Then, looking at the press release again, the WPT says there are four qualifiers each day, starting at $5, and on $45 satellite each day at 5:30pm. As of right now, there are no qualifiers listed in the lobby, but maybe that’s just because they haven’t been posted yet. And the two $45 tournaments are those two phased events, not actually satellites, and they start at 5:00pm, not 5:30pm.
Beyond the scheduling confusion, the main point is that the $400 WPT Online Poker Open is a real World Poker Tour event. The winner will receive a Champion’s Trophy, a World Poker Tour “VIP experience” in Las Vegas, and an $11,000 package the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic.