The World Poker Tour is a collection of Texas hold ’em poker tournaments held internationally, but mainly in the United States. The television show has led to a boom in the table game across American homes, in local casino poker rooms and online.
The key sponsors of the tour are casinos and online poker sites. The show, which is syndicated internationally, is co-hosted by World Series of Poker winner Mike Sexton, and actor Vince Van Patten.
The tour had its debut season in the latter part of 2002 and early part of 2003, climaxing with the WPT Championship in April 2003 at the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The first season aired on the Travel Channel on American cable television in the spring of 2003.
The show made its network debut on February 1, 2004 on NBC with a special “Battle Of Champions” tournament, which aired against CBS coverage of the Super Bowl XXXVIII pre-game show. The Travel Channel aired the first five seasons of the Tour. In April 2007, WPTE announced that the series would move to GSN for its sixth season in the spring of 2008.
Now in its fifth season of broadcast, it still remains among the highest rated television programs on cable. It airs Wednesdays on the Travel Channel. The first three seasons of WPT are also available on NTSC DVD.
CITY TV airs the WPT on Sundays at 4pm ET in Canada with a rebroadcast at Midnight (or shortly after depending on the length of their Sunday Night Movie. The series will move to Monday nights when it moves to GSN in 2008.
Player of the Year
Points are awarded for all Open events as follows:
- Winner: 1000 points
- Runner-up: 700 points
- 3rd place: 600 points
- 4th place: 500 points
- 5th place: 400 points
- 6th place: 300 points
- 7th place (TV bubble): 200 points
This award is given out to one player per season. The winners so far are:
- Season 1: Howard Lederer
- Season 2: Erick Lindgren
- Season 3: Daniel Negreanu
- Season 4: Gavin Smith
- Season 5: J. C. Tran