As the new coronavirus causes live events to be cancelled, the World Poker Tour (WPT) has announced its first online series.
The new venture will be run in conjunction with Partypoker and take place between May 10 and May 26, 2020.
The inaugural WPT Online Series will feature 10 headlines events and a $30 million guarantee.
For Partypoker and the WPT, the timing couldn’t be better. With coronavirus affecting live tournaments around the world, interest in online events will be unusually high over the coming months.
Live Championship Favorites Turned into Online Offerings
A $3,200 WPT Online Main Event will top the bill. There will be a total of five starting days running from May 10 before the final few play for a share of a guaranteed $5 million.
Alongside the main event, the WPT Online Series will feature a selection of tour favorites. Making its online debut between May 10 and 18 will be a $1 million guarantee WPT500. Rounding out the series will be an online WPTDeepStacks showdown.
Partypoker and WPT are still working on the finer details of the schedule. However, they have confirmed that WPT championships will offer a combined guarantee of $15 million. Additionally, a supporting cast of side events will take the overall guarantee to $30 million.
WPT Online Series Schedule
- May 10 to May 26 – $3,200 WPT Online Main Event
- May 10 to May 18 – $530 WPT500
- May 12 – $5,200 WPT Bounty Hunter
- May 14 – $5,200 WPT PLO
- May 18 – $1,100 WPT 6-Max
- May 19 to May 20 – $5,200 WPT Mix-Max
- May 21 – $25,500 WPT Super High Roller
- May 21 – $2,100 WPT Turbo (Progressive Knockout)
- May 24 to May 25 – $10,300 WPT High Roller
- May 10 to May 26 – $1,600 WPTDeepStacks
As is common with all WPT events, a full satellite schedule will take place ahead of the start. However, with the poker industry in a state of disarray at the moment, big numbers are almost a certainty.
With the novel coronavirus forcing tournament operators around the world to change their plans, online poker platforms are in a strong position. Both the WPT and Partypoker have canceled live festivals, but the online series should help make up for any losses.
Stars Align for WPT Online Series
What’s more, by acting swiftly, the two companies could quickly a force in an emerging part of the industry.
When the WSOP hosted its first online bracelet event in 2015, many saw it as a novelty. However, with record-breaking attendance figures in 2019, the WSOP announced an enhanced schedule for 2020.
With the market for big-brand online poker festivals now established, the WPT is entering the mix. As one of the biggest names in live poker, it’s online series should command interest from pros and amateurs alike, even without the current situation facing the industry.
However, with unfortunate events often creating opportunities for change, the WPT has seized the initiative. As poker players around the world prepare for lockdown, the chance to play for a WPT title online couldn’t come at a better time.