The World Poker Tour (WPT) has set the guaranteed prize pool for its upcoming 2023 WPT World Championship at $40 million, making it one of the largest for a live poker tournament ever. The No-limit Hold’em event with a buy-in of $10,400 is slated for December 12th through 21st at Wynn Las Vegas.
The previous WPT live poker guarantee record was $15 million, set at the 2022 World Championship, also held at Wynn. Last year’s record-breaking edition closed with a field of 2,960 entrants and pooled over $29 million in prize money.
Canadian Eliot Hudon won the $10k event last and bagged the $4.136 million prize money, the highest payout ever recorded in the 20-year history of the WPT.
WPT World Championship $10,400 Buy-in Event Details and Format
The World Championship is part of the WPT poker festival that runs from November 29th with a $600 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event featuring a $1 million guaranteed prize pool on the Las Vegas Strip. With a modest buy-in of $10,400, the main event will be held exclusively at the Wynn, taking a different approach from the hybrid tournament format WPT adopted for Mexico City in May.
The structure will appeal to both recreational and pro-poker players. Participants will begin with 100,000 chips and engage in 60-minute levels on Day 1, which will gradually extend to 90 minutes for the rest of the tournament until the 45-minute heads-up play.
To meet the ambitious $40 million guarantee, the WPT has planned four opener flights for its 2023 World Championship starting December 12th. This will provide players with multiple chances to re-enter throughout the two-week event. The final table is set to be broadcast live on December 23rd, where all final-table finishers will receive seven-figure payouts.
The current title holder, Eliot Hudon, beat out 2,960 players, the largest field in a $10k event outside WSOP, to become the 2022 WPT World Champion and win $4.1 million in prize money. With a record guarantee, this year’s winner will likely secure an even more substantial prize than Hudon’s impressive take-home.
In addition to the marquee event, the WPT festival at Wynn Las Vegas will offer over 30 combined tournaments from November 29th through December 23rd. This includes a $5 million guaranteed WPT Prime Championship and a $2 million guaranteed Mystery Bounty tournament.
Beyond the Main Event
Apart from the main tournament, the 2023 WPT World Championship will offer a diverse lineup of side events, with entry fees ranging from $250 to $50,000. The packed schedule kicks off on November 29th with two opener events— a $60,000-guaranteed Limit Omaha/8 with a buy-in of $600, followed by a $600 No-Limit Hold’em running through December 4th with a $1 million guarantee.
The roster includes scores of other major events, but the highlight is the WPT Big One, which raises money for the non-profit One Drop Foundation. The charity tournament will run between December 18 and 19, marking the first time the $1,000,000 buy-in event has been hosted outside World of Series of Poker in the US.
WPT hosted two fund-raising charity events with lower buy-ins for One Drop Foundation in July at the Wynn Summer Classics in Las Vegas, as reported by Forbes Magazine. The Montreal-based non-profit provides access to safe hygiene, sanitation, and water for millions in underprivileged communities worldwide.
The $2 million-guaranteed Mystery Bounty No-Limit Hold’em kicks off on December 4th with a $1,600 buy-in. Entrants will have the opportunity to win random bounties ranging from $500 to $250k, adding some thrill and surprise to the tournament.
The Ladies Championship, a $250k guaranteed female-only event, is making a comeback on December 6th and runs for three days. 2022’s edition of the $1,100 buy-in tournament was one of the largest all-female events in poker history, with Lina Niu beating 578 players to win $105,136.
December 7th will mark the return of $1,100 WPT Prime Championship to Wynn Las Vegas, with four opening flights for Day 1 and $5 million in guaranteed prize pool. Stephen Song will be back to defend his title after beating a 5,430-strong field in 2022 to take home $712,650 in prize money.
The schedule also includes a variety of other events, such as the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em 8-Max, the $2,200 8-Game Mix, and the $1,100 HORSE Championship, along with the $25,700 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller, the $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Progressive Bounty (PKO), and the $3,000 Dealers Choice Championship.
The $50,000 WPT Alpha8 and the $10,500 Pot-Limit Omaha will round out the two-week multi-event poker series. The up-to-date schedule can be found on the WPT website.
The Road to the WPT World Championship
The 2023 WPT World Championship will be open to anyone who can afford the $10,400 buy-in or qualify through satellites and promotions on Partypoker and other World Poker Tour partners.
Registration will open on November 15th until the official kick-off, with re-entry available throughout the four flights. Satellite tournaments will be held across the globe, providing players with affordable opportunities to qualify for the Main Event. Other WPT partners, such as ClubWPT, LearnWPT, and WPT League, will also offer opportunities for players to qualify for the event.
Tournament poker has experienced an upswing in popularity, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic. The Main Event of the 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP) attracted a record field of 10,043 and a staggering prize pool of $93.3 million.
Debuted by celebrity chef Guy Fieri, this year’s WSOP series featured more than 70 events with prize pools of over $1 million.
This new record-setting guarantee is expected to draw players from all over the globe and across all major series running concurrently. Many will juggle schedules to participate in the WPT World Championship and the WSOP Bahamas, EPT Prague, and other prestigious stops in December.