This week, the sports world – and the world as a whole – lost an icon when Dr. Jerry Buss passed away after a long battle with cancer. The much-beloved majority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers brought 10 championships to the city and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010, enshrined as a contributor to the sport.
But it wasn’t only the basketball world that lost this larger-than-life figure – the poker world has also mourned this loss. Buss was an avid poker player, friend, fan, and a regular on the California poker scene since the early ’80s. He placed third in the 1991 World Series of Poker seven-card stud event. Dr. Buss entered the national poker spotlight when he took 2nd place in the WPT Celebrity Invitational in 2003 and followed that up with appearances on NBC’s Poker After Dark, the $25k National Heads-Up Championship and GSN’s High Stakes Poker.
This Saturday, February 23, many of the biggest names in poker from around the world, including 13-time WSOP champ Phil Hellmuth and WPT Commentator Mike Sexton, will be paying tribute to Jerry Buss at the commencement of the World Poker Tour LA Poker Classic, a filmed for national TV event, held at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles. The tribute will begin at 11:45AM.
The specially dedicated Shuffle Up and Deal will celebrate and honor the impact Jerry Buss made on the poker world.
Buss played the WPT LA Poker Classic multiple times throughout the 11 years that the event has taken place – Seasons 3, 4 and 6 – and also played the WPT Celebrity Invitational – Seasons 2, 3, 6, 8 and 9 – and WPT Legends of Poker Season 4.
Can’t make it to LA’s Commerce Casino for the start of the WPT LA Poker Classic on Saturday?
That’s no reason you can’t compete with your friends on the virtual felt by playing the new Fantasy Poker Manager game on Facebook. As the official fantasy poker game of the World Poker Tour, Fantasy Poker Manager lets you draft a team of pros playing in WPT tournaments around the world – including the upcoming WPT LA Poker Classic – and compete to see who’s got the goods to become your league champion.
The game is free to play, so check it out today and build your team for the WPT LA Poker Classic before the event registration closes on Sunday. To keep track of how your team is doing – and for all of the latest news from the Commerce Casino – be sure to check in with our Live Updates starting at 12pm PT on Saturday.
Yesterday morning, BLUFF Magazine released their annual Power 20 list. Here’s a brief description per BLUFF:
Each year BLUFF polls a select group of people from across the poker industry on who they believe are the most influential people in the game today… Voters were given the following instructions “Vote on who you believe has the most positive impact on poker and rank them from 1 – 20.”
Deservedly so, two of WPT’s own were selected to be part of that list, and the announcements were made via Twitter.
— BLUFF.com (@bluffmagazine) February 21, 2013
The WPT is one of the most well-established brands in poker… As the company’s CEO, Steve Heller has helped the tour adapt and change…, with expansion into more and more new markets on a yearly basis.
— BLUFF.com (@bluffmagazine) February 21, 2013
Matt Savage’s impact on poker can be felt on an almost daily basis. When he’s not answering questions about tournament rulings on Twitter, he’s the Executive Tour Director for the WPT.
A huge congratulations goes out to Steve and Matt for their inclusion on this list.
Head over to the Bluff website to read the full rundown of the 2013 BLUFF Power 20.
World Poker Tour Adds Two Championship Events and Five Regional/National Events to Its Season XI Schedule
Spanning Three Continents and Five Countries, These Tournaments Offer Something for Every Player
Los Angeles, CA (February 21, 2013) – In a schedule already packed with incredible tournaments at some of the most impressive venues around the globe, World Poker Tour is giving players even more chances to compete for fame and fortune before its WPT World Championship at Bellagio (May 18 – 24, 2013) by adding seven new events on three continents, including North America, Europe, and Africa.
With five events scheduled on the WPT’s Main Tour before the start of its Champions Week in May – including the WPT LA Poker Classic starting this Saturday — World Poker Tour is giving its players two additional chances to hang out with the WPT cast, have their names engraved onto the prestigious WPT Champions Cup, and earn valuable WPT Player of the Year points before the season wraps up at the beautiful Bellagio in Las Vegas.
WPT bestbet Open – Jacksonville, Florida has quickly established itself as a favorite poker destination for players seeking exciting action both on and off the felt. From April 26 – 30, World Poker Tour offers players the chance to enjoy great scenery and hospitality while competing to become the next member of the WPT Champions Club when the WPT bestbet Open returns to the bestbet Casino. Sponsored by ClubWPT.com, this $3,200 + $300 tournament will feature two Day 1s with re-entry and be live streamed on www.WPT.com.
PartyPoker.net WPT Canadian Spring Championship – Last November, the PartyPoker.net WPT Montreal event attracted 1,173 entrants, making it the largest major tournament in Canadian poker history, and the fourth largest WPT event ever held. On May 3, the World Poker Tour returns to the Playground Poker Club for the PartyPoker.net Canadian Spring Championship, a C$3,000 + $C300 buy-in tournament running from May 3 – 9 and live streamed on www.WPT.com.
While World Poker Tour’s Season XII schedule is still being finalized, the tour will bring its cameras to Quebec in November 2013 for the second PartyPoker.net WPT Montreal from November 29 – December 5. This tournament, which features a buy-in of C$3,500 + C$350 with two Day 1s, will be broadcast as part of WPT Season XII in 2014.
WPT Regional and National Events
In addition to its two new Main Tour stops, World Poker Tour is adding five new events to its popular Regional and National schedules, giving players a chance to enjoy playing in a WPT-quality event at an attractive buy-in.
WPT Regional Florida Spring Tampa Bay Open — World Poker Tour returns to one of its favorite Florida locations when the WPT Regional series stops at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, Florida from March 7 – 10. Like the WPT Regional Florida Seminole Hard Rock Fall Tampa Bay Open last September, the Spring Tampa Bay Open features a buy-in of $1,325 + $175 with two Day 1s and re-entry for the first three levels of each day.
WPT National London – The popular WPT National series adds a new stop to its schedule when WPT returns to England’s capitol city for the first time since 2008 for the PartyPoker.com WPT National London tournament at the Aspers Casino in Westfield Stratford City, London. Running March 15 – 19, this £1,500 + £150 tournament will feature two Day 1s with re-entry available through Level 6 of each day.
WPT National Johannesburg – After a hugely successful initial visit to South Africa in October 2012, World Poker Tour returns to the Emperors Palace Hotel and Casino for the WPT National Johannesburg from April 5 – 7. This event features a buy-in of ZAR 13,000 + 1,300.
WPT Regional Mississippi IP Spring Classic – This brand new event brings the tour back to the Gulf Coast for four days of exciting poker action. Running from April 5 – 8 at the IP Casino Resort Spa in Biloxi, the WPT Regional Mississippi IP Spring Classic features a $1,020 + $130 buy-in and two Day 1s with single re-entry on each day.
Bwin.es WPT National Marbella – Sun and fun are the name of the game when World Poker Tour returns to Southern Spain for the €1,500 + $150 Bwin.es WPT National Marbella running from April 11 – 15. Held at Casino Marbella, this popular event features two Day 1s with a single re-entry.
On Sunday, February 24, at 8pm & 11pm ET, World Poker Tour returns to FSN for the 11th season of televised, high-stakes poker tournaments as the inaugural WPT Parx Open Poker Classic airs from the stunning Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA.
Located just 20 minutes from downtown Philadelphia and boasting 91 tables, Parx Casino is the largest poker room in Pennsylvania and a spectacular venue in which players competed to have their name etched onto the WPT Champions Cup. With a buy-in of $3,500 – and the ability to re-enter on Day 1B – this tournament promised the winner a massive payday and valuable WPT Player of the Year points that would put them in an early lead for one of the most prestigious titles in poker.
World Poker Tour’s entire team, including Mike Sexton, Vince Van Patten, Kimberly Lansing, Tony Dunst, and the fabulous Royal Flush Girls were on hand, but the WPT cast won’t be the only recognizable faces at Parx, and on your TV on Sunday, as a number of top pros were also in attendance, including Matt Glantz, Shaun Deeb, Brian Hastings, WPT Season X World Champion Marvin Rettenmaier, and WPT Season X Player of the Year, Joe Serock.
This Sunday’s episode will feature coverage of the opening days of the tournament up through to the final table. We won’t spoil who makes it to the final table for you, so we’ll just leave you with this love letter to Parx Casino from the WPT Royal Flush Girls.
The World Poker Tour (WPT) and Zokay Entertainment, owner of the Global Poker Index and the Fantasy Poker Manager, announced today that they have entered into an exclusive, three-year agreement naming the Fantasy Poker Manager as the official fantasy poker game of the WPT.
The Fantasy Poker Manager is a free social game powered by the Global Poker Index and is available on Facebook. The Fantasy Poker Manager offers poker fans everywhere a simple to learn and easy to use fantasy game based on live poker tournaments, providing the opportunity to engage with other fans and poker professionals alike.
The agreement between the Fantasy Poker Manager and the WPT furthers the goal of the Global Poker Index of bringing the poker community and the fans of poker closer together. Through cross promotion of WPT live events and the Fantasy Poker Manager social game on Facebook, fans will have a virtual front row seat at more than 20 WPT events throughout the WPT season. Every WPT event around the world will be highlighted in the Fantasy Poker Manager, allowing fans to interact and build relationships with professional players as well as their friends playing the game throughout the year.
“The World Poker Tour is a famous franchise all over the world. Partnering with the WPT brings more focus and attention to the Fantasy Poker Manager as well as the sport of poker and furthers our goals of bringing the fans and professionals closer together”, said Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of the Global Poker Index and the Fantasy Poker Manger.
“The Fantasy Poker Manager is a great way for poker fans to keep track of the progress of their favorite players on the World Poker Tour,” said WPT CEO Steve Heller. “It’s a fun way for them to follow the tour all year long, and even compete for bragging rights against their friends over who drafted the best stable of players.”
Poker fans can begin drafting their team now before the start of the WPT LA Poker Classic, which begins Saturday, February 23, by creating a Fantasy Poker Manager account at http://apps.facebook.com/fantasypokermanager/. The WPT will provide live reporting at all of its events, allowing fans to keep up to date on the action at each event and follow players on their fantasy poker teams with great live coverage and frequent chip count updates.
The WPT will also support and promote the Fantasy Poker Manager through its full suite of online tools and social properties, helping bring the Fantasy Poker Manager to an even broader group of poker fans in North America and Europe. In the seven months since its acquisition by Zokay Entertainment, the Global Poker Index has been solidified as the live tournament poker ranking authority worldwide. Zokay plans to continue developing the Global Poker Index as the premiere tool and ranking system for the poker industry, with the expectation of making a significant investment in promoting poker and the Global Poker Index across the globe in an effort to establish industry standards for the multi-billion dollar live poker industry.
Chad Holloway with PokerNews.com recently sat down with World Poker Tour President Adam Pliska to talk about WPT on FSN, new stops on the tour, navigating 11 seasons of World Poker Tour and what we can expect for the future of WPT.
We’re going to have over 50 events in total this year. There’s always a WPT event. You can see things growing, how the assets have been used, and most importantly, the response of the players.
Read the full article here » http://www.pokernews.com/news/2013/02/wpt-president-adam-pliska-talks-about-season-xi-14327.htm
WPT Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is expanding its philanthropic efforts in support of non-profit programs of excellence through a new, year-round series of online auctions at leading online charity auction house, Charitybuzz.com.
Watch the San Jose Sharks score on the ice and on the felt when the World Poker Tour takes you from the frozen confines of the Shark Tank to the bright lights of the televised WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star final table.
This fantastic prize package includes:
- Two premium tickets (Section 102) to watch the San Jose Sharks battle the Nashville Predators on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at the Shark Tank in San Jose, CA
- One (1) San Jose Sharks gift bag, including a hockey puck autographed by Sharks star Joe Pavelski
- A WPT VIP Experience where you and your friend will be the special guest of WPT commentators Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten at the taping of the televised final table of the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star at the Bay 101 Casino in San Jose, CA on Friday, March 8, 2013
Bid now for your chance for you and a friend to sit rink-side at one of the rowdiest arenas in professional hockey when the San Jose Sharks take on the Nashville Predators on Saturday, March 2nd. Enjoy the game and head home with great memories and a San Jose Sharks gift bag, including a hockey puck autographed by star forward Joe Pavelski.
Then, come back to San Jose for a WPT VIP Experience at the televised final table of the exciting WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star on Friday, March 8 where you and your friend will enjoy premium seating, a tour of the famed World Poker Tour television set, and get to sit on stage with the WPT Royal Flush Girls as you watch poker’s biggest sharks battle for fame and fortune at one of the most unique tournaments in poker.
All new episodes of World Poker Tour Season XI start airing on FOX Sports Networks in less than 10 days (Sunday, March 24 at 8pm and 11pm local time, to be exact), which means its time to tune in for another season filled with great poker action and some of the game’s most unique personalities, including our new crop of WPT Ones to Watch for Season XI.
This year’s group of talented young players include some, like Shaun Deeb, Jason Somerville, and Brian Hastings, who have already achieved significant success and notoriety both online and in live tournaments, along with up-and-coming players like Amanda Musumeci, Jason Koon, and Xian Liu, Dee Dozier, and A.P. Phahurat who are still (barely) flying under the radar.
If you haven’t heard of these talented players – or want to learn a little more about them – then check out the video above and see why we’re going to be keeping a close eye on these players for a long time to come.