In today’s poker world, it is not uncommon for players to have to make decisions about which tournaments to enter. However, it’s rare that the tournaments in question have such a glowing status that people notice who goes where. That’s what we’re seeing when it comes to decisions in December and whether to head to the Bahamas or Las Vegas for two monstrous dates.
Hellmuth to the Caribbean, Ivey to Las Vegas
The World Series of Poker will hold its first tournament festival in the Bahamas this December. From December 3rd to 14th, Atlantis Paradise Island (former home of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure) will host the fifteen events that make up the tournament. In an unusual move, the WSOP (or perhaps the players) has decided to announce players who have committed to waiting for the first edition of this tournament schedule.
Of note, Phil Hellmuth, the seventeen-time WSOP bracelet winner (you have to mention this, it’s in the contract), will be in attendance and will be looking to increase his bracelet count. He will be joined by poker greats such as Shaun Deeb, Daniel Negreanu, Jonathan Little and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, among others. Of course, it wouldn’t be a WSOP without the presence of Lon McEachern and Norman Chad, although it is unknown whether these two will be fighters or full-time commentators.
Not to be outdone, the World Poker Tour has been actively announcing (once again, or the players have) who will be participating in their tournament schedule. From November 29th to December 23rd, the WPT hosts Wynn Las Vegas, with a plethora of tournaments sure to attract the big boys. Some of the names announced will be involved in events that will prevent them from participating in WSOP action.
Phil Ivey is headlining the WPT in Las Vegas and he has a slew of gunslingers joining him. Dan “Jungleman” Cares, Chris Brewer, Orpen Kisacikoglu and many others will be taking part in tournaments at the Wynn Las Vegas poker room in December. There will be several major tournaments for these and many other players to participate in.
So what’s the draw?
The WPT World Championship is the draw for players at Wynn Las Vegas. The WPT and Wynn have taken the bold step of putting a $40 million guarantee on the WPT World Championship, which will use four Day Ones, to try to build a player pool that can eclipse that level. If the above players are eliminated from the WPT World Championship for any reason, there are other events that should catch their attention.
The WPT is bringing back a former WSOP highlight, the Big One for OneDrop, the million-dollar buy-in tournament. At this tournament, about ten players have already verbally declared that they will take part in this tournament, including Ivey and Kisacikoglu. If that’s too much for some players, there’s also a $25,000 High Roller tournament and a $50,000 Alpha8 event on the program.
The WSOP is trying to keep up with the spread $51 million in guarantees across the entire 15-tournament schedule. The WSOP will also host a number of high roller tournaments, its $25,000 GGMillions High Roller Championship, the $50,000 Super High Roller and the $100,000 Ultra High Roller. With each of the fifteen tournaments comes a level of prestige that the WPT cannot match – the WSOP bracelet that every winner will win.
So who will gain the upper hand? Does the answer lie in paradise or does it lie in sin (city)? The WSOP and WPT will compete in December as players make their decisions.