Starting next March, Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the WPT Alpha8.
It might seem hard to believe now, but at the onset of the poker boom, $10k was considered a mammoth buy-in. Throughout the past 10 years, poker fields have gotten larger and professionals have gotten richer, resulting in a demand for higher stakes tournaments. And after last year’s Big One for One Drop set a new precedent for what defines a “super high-roller,” tournaments featuring buy-ins of $100k or more have become relatively commonplace. But until now, no host has launched an entire series dedicated to these exclusive tournaments.
All of that will change this year. Starting on August 26, 2013, the World Poker Tour will be rolling out a new series. Entitled WPT Alpha8 and sponsored by ClubWPT.com, the series will host tournaments featuring buy-ins of at least $100k. Tournaments will be hosted in North America, Europe, Asia and South Africa, with the inaugural event to take place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The first event will be televised on March 16, 2014.
The events are bound to feature the brightest poker minds and will inevitably draw strong viewership among hardcore fans. It will always provide fans with insight into how elite poker players think, and will further emphasize that poker is more a game of skill than luck.
This year marked the eleventh season of the WPT. Over the past two seasons, the WPT has been one of the top rated shows for Fox Sports Net. Tournaments are now broken down into three segments, allowing viewers to witness much of the action leading up to the final table. Season 11 featured 36 episodes, up from the 26 of just two years ago. Season 12 is set to kick off at the Merit Crystal Cove Hotel and Casino on August 16th.
The past two seasons have each featured a $100k Super High Roller event at the Bellagio. The high ratings associated with these episodes may have been the driving force behind launching the WPT Alpha8.
Lynn Gilmartin of PokerNews fame will serve as the show’s anchor. WPT representatives have indicated that the dynamic duo of Vince Van Patten and Mike Sexton will not be providing commentary for the events, and that a different cast will be in place.
The full Alpha8 schedule has not been released. Stay posted for more details concerning these prestigious events.