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WPT Moves Tournament of Champions to ARIA

The World Poker Tour announced recently that it is moving the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions (TOC) to the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The previous two – and only – TOCs were held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

“World Poker Tour is honored to have ARIA Resort & Casino as host of the Season XVI WPT Tournament of Champions and to return to Las Vegas, the global home of poker and the city where it all began for the WPT,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska in a press release. “Season XVI of the World Poker Tour has been truly historic, with the tour awarding its one-billionth prize dollar and traveling to new regions of the world with events in Beijing, India, and South America. We are proud to cap it off with the prestigious WPT Tournament of Champions at the extraordinary ARIA Resort & Casino.”

Assuming the Season XVI WPT Tournament of Champions will work the same way the previous two have, it is a closed, invitation-only tournament, unlike the season-ending event before the advent of the TOC, which was essentially just a higher buy-in event than the rest of the season’s tour stops.

The only players permitted to enter the TOC are members of the WPT Champions Club, that is, those who have previously won WPT Main Tour titles from any of the WPT’s sixteen seasons. Title winners from the current Season XVI, which spans 2017 and 2018, will gain free entry. Those who qualified in previous seasons will have to pay the $ 15,000 buy-in (rake free) in order to play.

The Season XV WPT Tournament of Champions drew 66 players. Daniel Weinman won the tournament, earning $ 381,500, which includes a free entry into next year’s TOC, plus a 2018 Audi S5 Coupe.

Angelica Hael, VP of Global Tour Management for the World Poker Tour, gave her thoughts on the move to the ARIA:

Season XVI marks the fifth season that the World Poker Tour has partnered with ARIA Resort & Casino, and we are thrilled to take our relationship to new heights with ARIA to host the celebrated WPT Tournament of Champions. ARIA and WPT have generated more than 16,000 tournament entries and awarded more than $ 8.1 million in prize money in our events together over the past four seasons, and we look forward to building upon this success for a world-class poker festival at ARIA Resort & Casino that culminates in the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.

The WPT Tournament of Champions is not on the official WPT Main Tour schedule yet, but it is tentatively slated for May 2018. There will also be one final Main Tour event at the ARIA festival leading up to the TOC, so players will have one more shot to qualify.

Cover photo credit: Giron

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