The World Poker Tour’s inaugural Tournament of Champions (TOC) is set to get underway on April 22 with more than $100,000 in added value for the returning champs.
When the WPT TOC at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino was announced as the replacement for the traditional season-ending WPT Championship, a number of players were unsure whether the $15,000 investment would be worth it.
Unlike other WPT events, the TOC won’t be a completely open event. Under the rules of the event, all Season XIV champions will be entered into the tournament automatically and have their $15,000 buy-in, airfare and accommodation covered by the WPT.
To give the tournament some extra spice, WPT champions from previous seasons are also permitted to take part in the tournament but will have to pay $15,000 (which is rake free) for the privilege.
When the event was first announced the initial reaction from many former champions was that it wouldn’t be worth anteing up in a tournament stacked with talent without some additional rewards.
After consulting with WPT Champions Club members, the company’s CEO and President Adam Pliska moved to address the situation and make the event more attractive for the game’s top players.
Announced earlier this week, the 2016 WPT TOC will have a guaranteed $100,000 overlay as well as a plethora of prizes for the eventual winner:
In addition to the winner’s prizes, the WPT has promised to release details of more prizes in the coming weeks as it aims to take the added value beyond the $200,000 mark.
Beyond the juiced up prize pool, the WPT TOC will also feature a 30-second Action Clock. Each time a hand is dealt, the dealer will start the Action Clock (located on the table) and players will have 30 seconds to make a decision each time the action is on them.
While this feature is designed to speed up the action, players will have the ability to deliberate over tough decisions courtesy of five 30-second extensions on route to the final table and then a fresh set of four extensions on the final table.
The hope is that the combination of added prizes, returning champions and high octane action will create much more of a TV spectacle.
Much like Alex Dreyfus is trying to do with the Global Poker League, the WPT TOC’s organizers are hoping the new features will align the tournament with major sporting events and make it more appealing to the masses.