Friday, December 18, 2015

Another Alpha8

Was reminded a couple of days ago about having spent a week in December at the Bellagio just a couple of years ago. Was there helping cover the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic, which I believe was the last time that particular event had Doyle Brunson’s name on the sucker.

There were 639 entries for the $10,400 buy-in event this time around, making the prize pool close to $6.2 million. That’s up from 586 entries and a $5.68 million prize pool last year, and way up from the 449 and $4.36 million prize pool in 2013 when I was there.

Meanwhile there’s a new $100K buy-in WPT Alpha8 tournament starting today, also at the Bellagio. This one kicks off the third season of the Alpha8. A year ago they managed 55 total entries for this same event (including re-entries), the most they ever were able to get for an Alpha8, so it should be interesting to see if they manage to match or exceed that total.

Funny to think how it wasn’t that long ago that a $10K event was something relatively unique, while today even a $100K one fails to register as something all that unique. It’s still an exclusive, “boutique”-type affair, however, as indicated by the small fields and the fact that the player pool tends to be largely the same with each one that takes place.

Showing that event $100K isn’t enough for some anymore, the WPT is in fact putting on a $200,000 super high roller just after the new year as part of the WPT National Philippines Festival in Manila. There was a presser a week or so ago saying they’d already had a dozen players confirmed for the event.

Wonder how many they’ll ultimately draw. One thing for certain -- the player pool will likely include several businessmen and others we haven’t seen on the super high roller player lists before.

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