WPT Celebrates Its One-Billionth Prize Dollar At Legends of Poker

Posted by Carolyn on Aug 31, 2017 Posted in Poker Industry News | No Comments »

The World Poker Tour (WPT) marked an important milestone after it awarded its one-billionth prize dollar earlier this week. The award was given out during the WPT Legends of Poker Main Event being held at the Bicycle Hotel & Casino, in Las Vegas and was presented to T.J. Shepherd for his 47th place finish.

On his elimination, play was paused for a brief celebration which included music and an address by WPT CEO Adam Pliska who thanked the WPT family of players and fans. WPT commentators on hand like Tony Dunst and Vince Van Patten said that it was highly apt for Shepherd to win the prize as the poker stalwart had been playing at the casino since the 1980’s.

Shephard said he was thrilled to be a part of the WPT celebration. The prize provides him with free entry to next year’s edition of the Legends of Poker Main Event as well as free hotel accommodation.

Pliska said that this was only one of the many milestones that WPT has hit in recent times. He highlighted that the brand had grown from strength to strength over the years and its televised content recently got its highest ratings after sixteen seasons of televised broadcasts.

In a statement Pliska said “One of the things that we keep saying is, ‘It’s a billion dollars, a million stories.’ The number itself I think is more of a testament of how the brand has endured, the feeling of the World Poker Tour, and why we are so proud to do what we do.”

He also pointed out that so far over 200 persons had received over $1,000,000 in WPT prize money and the organization has raised over $7 million for charities. The focus for the brand was now global expansion. The WPT has been entering new markets consistently in the past years. It was the first to go into China and it has now been forging its way into new South American markets as well.

Pliska said that the most exciting developments for WPT would now come from globalization of the game and the increase in access points for people interested in playing poker. He stated that in the past people needed a lot of money to play top poker tournaments but the WPT was going to make it possible for players at all levels to enter WPT tournaments.

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