The Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup is returning to Australian shores for only the second time, almost exactly a year after David Tang etched his name into Aussie poker history by winning the WPT Australia Main Event and joining Joe Hachem and Mel Judah as the only Australians to win a WPT Main Tour event.
The second iteration of WPT Australia, part of WPT Season 21, comes shortly after the World Poker Tour announced in August that the 2023 WPT World Championship, taking place at Wynn Las Vegas in December, will have the largest live tournament guarantee of all time – a massive US$40 million prize pool up for grabs. The 2022 edition of the WPT World Championship reached just over US$29 million, with the US$4,136,000 top prize claimed by Canadian Eliot Hudon.
“The WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas is poised to reach new heights and we wanted to match that expectation with a guarantee that no live poker tournament has ever seen before,” said Adam Pliska, WPT CEO. “The journey to December begins now, and we plan on giving players another unforgettable experience at Wynn Las Vegas.”
Players can win their way to the WPT World Championship at WPT Australia and the winner of next week’s Main Event will receive direct entry to play the WPT World Championship (deducted from the Main Event prize pool), with airfares and accommodation paid for courtesy of the World Poker Tour.
Running from 14 to 27 September, WPT Australia boasts a total of 16 events including a Main Event with an increased $8,000 buy-in and two Day 1 flights on 22 and 23 September respectively. The $1,500 Opening Event kicks off the action, whilst high rollers won’t have to wait long – a $5,000 buy-in 8 Max Action Clock tournament gets under way on Saturday 16 September, followed by a $20,000 Super High Roller on 21September. Event 13 is a $10,000 “World Championship Warm Up”, and Event 15 is a $5,000 PLO event for some intense action.
The ever-popular Mystery Bounty is back this weekend with a $1,650 buy-in; before the similar “Survivor Bounty” format; in this $1,150 event, bounties don’t start until the top 20% of the field remains, however unlike the Mystery Bounty, each bounty is for a fixed amount – although that is a meaty $2,000 per knockout!
The Shane Warne One Day Perpetual Trophy returns on Thursday 21 September. The inaugural edition of this event commemorating the life of Shane Warne was won by Chad Awerbuch, who recently took the time to sit down with PMA‘s Ben Blaschke to discuss the win and what it meant to him as the WPT Australia Festival once again loomed. And don’t get spun out – there will be a Best Dressed Competition on the day, with The Star encouraging players in the event to pay homage to the cricket legend in their “most spectacular Shane Warne-inspired outfit”; whether that’s classic cricket threads or a nod to Shane’s iconic style, the three best-dressed players will receive vouchers valued at $500 (winner) and $100 (runner-ups).
Consistency will also be rewarded, with a US$5,000 WPT Passport available to the winner of the WPT Australia Player of the Festival, last year won by South Australia’s Joseph Sandaev with two event wins and four final tables to his name. We look forward to seeing who will dominate the Festival this year, and we at PMA will be there to bring you all of the action from buy-in to bust-out!
Additional player information
Tournament and Satellite Schedule courtesy of The Star Gold Coast
Players Guide/Structures courtesy of World Poker Tour
Shane Warne Best Dressed Competition Terms and Conditions – The Star Gold Coast