Saturday, July 20, 2013

WPT Announces $100,000 Buy-in 'Alpha 8' Tournament Series

The World Poker Tour and FOX Sports have announced a new joint TV-poker venture, focusing on a series of high buy-in events designed to focus on some of the richest and most famous players in poker.  The new mini-tour, called "Alpha 8," will feature high-roller tourneys with at least a $100,000 buy-in per event and will be scattered around the globe, likely in conjunction with the WPT's most established global stops.

The new series is scheduled to premiere in 2014.

The concept appears designed to differentiate itself from other televised poker programming, which in both the WPT's and WSOP's cases has focused for several years on $10K-buyin events.  This series' focus, with participation limited to poker's wealthy and elite, appears designed to create an atmosphere similar to the WPT's earliest years, when smaller attendance per tourney had the effect of putting the same handful of poker players' faces before a TV audience, thus creating identifiable poker personas which the WPT then marketed.

The first of the Alpha 8 events is scheduled to take place at the WPT's Seminole Hard Rock stop this August, in Florida.  Here's the complete release:

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World Poker Tour® and FOX Sports 1 Partner for the All New WPT Alpha8™ Series of Televised, Super High-Roller Tournaments to Begin Airing in March 2014

Los Angeles, CA (July 18, 2013) – World Poker Tour®, the world’s leading purveyor of high-quality, high-stakes televised poker tournaments is launching WPT Alpha8™, an all-new, global series of super high-roller poker tournaments broadcast on FOX Sports 1, premiering in March 2014.

Held in some of the world’s most prestigious venues in North America, Europe, Asia, and South Africa, each event will feature a buy-in of at least $100,000. Tournament structures designed by WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage will ensure exciting poker action at all levels throughout the tournament and allow World Poker Tour to provide four hours of televised action from each event where viewers can watch the game’s very best players compete for millions of dollars in prize money and unprecedented bragging rights.

“I am honored to announce Alpha8, WPT’s newest and most ambitious offering in conjunction with its primetime home on FS1,” said WPT President, Adam Pliska. “Showcasing the world’s poker elite and featuring multimillion dollar prize pools, Alpha8 represents the highest televised treatment of super high-roller tournament poker to date. Playing out over a global stage, this series will give audiences insight into the intensity and skill demanded at the sport’s highest levels.”

Launching August 26, 2013, this exclusive new tournament series will begin with Event 23 of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open -- WPT Alpha8 Florida -- held at the prestigious Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. As a frequent host of many WPT Main Event and Regional tournaments in the burgeoning Florida poker market over the past 11 seasons, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has earned a reputation as one of the region’s elite casino properties, making it an ideal home for WPT’s newest and most exclusive event.

“As a long-time World Poker Tour partner, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is excited to be hosting the first event in this exclusive, super high-roller series,” said Seminole Gaming COO Larry Mullin. “Adding WPT Alpha8 Florida to the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open schedule raises the volume on this already highly anticipated series, including our $10 million guarantee Main Event.”

Befitting an entirely new tournament series, WPT Alpha8 will feature a unique, modern set and will be hosted by fresh, new talent, including Lynn Gilmartin, who will serve as the show’s Anchor. Recorded for broadcast on FOX Sports 1 in 2014, WPT Alpha8 will be a key element of the network’s new original programming and will air as part of its primetime line up every Sunday at 10pm ET. The show’s expanded format will allow World Poker Tour’s cameras to provide viewers with in-depth coverage of all the play down to the final table, affording viewers with unparalleled insight into the strategies and gamesmanship that sets the world’s best players apart from everyone else.

“We’re excited to bring WPT’s new high-roller series to FS1 viewers,” said FOX Sports 1 Vice President of Programming David Sussin. “WPT Alpha8 will be a key part of our primetime line up and a tremendous complement to our other sports programming including MLB, NASCAR, UFC, soccer, and college basketball and football. With this new series, WPT has significantly raised the stakes of televised poker. By increasing the risk and raising the pressure, WPT Alpha8 delivers more drama and bigger personalities, and we’re confident the show will quickly become a habit for our viewers.”

As part of an exclusive, three-year deal with FOX Sports 1, subsequent WPT Alpha8 tournaments will be aired throughout 2014, and will be sponsored by ClubWPT.com, a membership poker site that provides players with great VIP benefits and the chance to play free online poker tournaments for a share of $100,000 in cash and prizes each month.*

Viewers looking to watch the WPT Alpha8 Florida final table before it airs on TV can watch a live stream of all the action on WPT.com on August 27. On August 28, poker fans can visit www.seminolehardrockpokeropen.com for exclusive live streaming of the final table of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event final table, where players will compete for the title and the winner’s share of the World’s largest guaranteed prize pool of $10 million.

*No purchase is necessary for the ClubWPT sweepstakes and the service is void in states where prohibited. For more information visit ClubWPT.com.

1 comment:

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