WPT Championships 2023 is now over! Below you’ll find our guide on the successful event that ran in December 2023. We expect it to come back even bigger and better for 2024 — keep in eye on our WPT 2024 guide for more!

The WPT World Championship (WPTWC) returned in winter 2023 at the Wynn, Las Vegas It ran between November 29 to December 23, with a main event capping off the series with a record-breaking $40 million guarantee between December 12 and 21.

It did not quite hit this massive target — it fell short by about 6%. On the one hand, this made it one of the largest overlays in poker history — a $2.4 million short-fall. On the other hand, it generated huge interest, massive turnouts, and set its own records for prize pools.

“We knew the risks,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska at the time. “But I know that we’ve achieved what we were going for. The WPT World Championship is something we can be proud [of]. This is the franchise that we’re growing and that we’re committed to. We want players to say that this was the best player experience and we’ve had so much positive feedback.”

The festival offered huge guarantees even without the crowning Championship event. Players also played the $5 million guaranteed Prime Championship and the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop, making a return for the first time since 2018.

The event made a perfect ending to one of the best years live poker has ever seen, and despite competition with several other major poker festivals, it became one of the biggest and most attended poker events in the history of the game.

What is the WPT World Championship Festival?

The WPT World Championship Festival is a live poker stop that forms part of the World Poker Tour. In 2023, it ran from November 29 to December 23, 2023, at Wynn Las Vegas. It hosted a number of poker events, including the $40 million guaranteed Championship event.

What is the WPT World Championship Event?

The WPT World Championship Event was the final tournament of the WPT season. In 2023, the tournament guaranteed a prize pool of $40 million and will played as part of a massive festival at Wynn Las Vegas.

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WPT World Championship Festival Key Details

WPT World Championship Festival 2023
📅 2023 WPT World Championship Festival DatesNov 29 – Dec 23, 2023
🌴 2023 WPT World Championship Festival LocationLas Vegas, Nevada, USA
🎰 Official WPT World Championship Festival VenueThe Wynn Casino Las Vegas
🎪 WPT World Championship Event $10,400 buy-in, with $40,000,000 GTD
🗝 WPT World Championship $40M Event Dates December 12 – 21, 2023
💵 Lowest Buy-In$600
💰 Highest Buy-In$1,000,000
🤜🤛 WPT World Championship Event Online QualifiersWPT Global & Club WPT
🔞 Age to Compete21+

WPT World Championship: Event Overview

The WPT World Championship is the pinnacle of the WPT season, first launched in 2022 during the 20th season of the Tour. In 2023, the WPT World Championship event ran from December 12 to 21, with side events starting as early as November 29, all happening at Wynn Las Vegas, one of the world’s most iconic live poker venues.

The festival ran for nearly a month featuring a number of satellites, lower buy-in events, and High Roller events, including a return of the $1,000,000 buy-in Big One for One Drop event, organized in cooperation with Guy Laliberte’s One Drop Foundation.

This donated six percent of each buy-in to the One Drop Foundation to continue their mission of ensuring sustainable access to safe water for communities most in need in West Africa, Latin America, and Asia. It attracted 17 players, resulting in a first place prize of over $7 million for winner Mikita Badziakouski.

The $1 million buy-in The Big One for One Drop has now run on four occasions, previously parented with the WSOP.

Big One for One Drop History

Year Event name Entrants Winner Prize Runner-up
WSOP 2012 $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop 48 Antonio Esfandiari $18,346,673 Sam Trickett
WSOP 2014 $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop 42 Dan Colman $15,306,668 Daniel Negreanu
WSOP 2018 $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop 27 Justin Bonomo $10,000,000 Fedor Holz
WPT Dec 2023 $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop 17 Mikita Badziakouski $7,114,500 Mario Mosboeck

The WPT World Championship event featured a buy-in of $10,400 and an incredible $40,000,000 guaranteed prize pool, making it the biggest guaranteed poker event ever seen anywhere in the world.

It attracted 3835 players, 6% shy of the 4082 required to cover the audacious guarantee. Still, compared to the prior year, attendance was up 30%.

WPT World Championship 2022 vs 2023

2022 2023
Gtd $15,000,000 $40,000,000
Entrants Required 1531 4082
Entrants Received 2960 3835
Buy-ins Collected $29,008,000 $37,583,000
Shortfall/Excess $14,008,000 -$2,417,000
Total Prize Pool $29,008,000 $40,000,000
First-Place Prize $4,136,000 $5,678,000
Places Paid 370 480
Min-Cash $17,400 $18,700
Starting Flights 3 4
Dates Dec 12 – 20 Dec 12 – 21

Aside from this event, players had the chance to play for buy-ins ranging from just $600 all the way up to $1 million, making it the most versatile poker festival of the year.

WPT World Championship Festival Complete Schedule for 2023

The full schedule of the WPT World Championship Festival boasted nearly 30 unique events, along with a number of live satellite tournaments offering seats in the WPT World Championship, WPT Prime Championship, and other events.

The $1,100 WPT Prime Championship provided a more affordable version of the Main Event, featuring a slightly faster blind structure and $5,000,000 in guaranteed prizes, making it a significant event in its own right.

High Rollers had $25k and $50k events on the calendar, along with a few other $10k tournaments, and the biggest High Roller of the year, the $1 Million buy-in Big One for One Drop.

A $1,600 Mystery Bounty event, and several Championship events across different poker disciplines like HORSE, 8-Game, Omaha 8, and Dealers Choice will complete the schedule, making for a truly robust festival worthy of the attention of all types of poker players.

2023 WPT World Championship Festival: Full Schedule

Date Tournament Buy-In Guarantee
Nov 29 Limit Omaha 8 $600 $50,000
Nov 29 – Dec 3 No Limit Hold’em $600 $1,000,000
Dec 3 NLH 8-Max $10,500 TBD
Dec 4-7 Mystery Bounty $1600 $2,000,000
Dec 4-6 Seniors NLH Championship 50+ $1100 $500,000
Dec 4 NLH 6-Max $1100 $100,000
Dec 5 PLO/NLH $1100 $100,000
Dec 6-8 Ladies Championship $1100 $250,000
Dec 7-12 WPT Prime Championship $1100 $5,000,000
Dec 8-9 8-Game Mix $2200 $200,000
Dec 12-21 WPT World Championship $10,400 $40,000,000
Dec 12-13 HORSE Championship $1100 $100,000
Dec 13 Pot Limit Omaha $1100 $100,000
Dec 15 NLH Turbo $500 Bounty $1600 $100,000
Dec 16 NLH Progressive Bounty (PKO) $3300 $500,000
Dec 17-20 No Limit Hold’em $3000 $3,000,000
Dec 17-18 Limit Omaha 8 Championship $1100 $100,000
Dec 17-18 NLH High Roller $25,700 TBD
Dec 18-20 WPT Big One for One Drop $1,000,000 TBD
Dec 19-20 NLH Seniors High Roller (50+) $10,000 $500,000
Dec 19 NLH 6-Max $3,000 $500,000
Dec 20-21 Dealer’s Choice Championship $3000 $200,000
Dec 20-21 WPT Alpha 8 $50,000 TBD
Dec 21 PLO High Roller $10,500 TBD
Dec 22 No Limit Hold’em $1100 $200,000
Dec 22 No Limit Hold’em 8-Max $10,500 $TBD
Dec 23 No Limit Hold’em $1100 $200,000

Ways to Qualify Online for the WPT World Championship

All qualifiers are now over! With WPT Championships in the rear-view mirror, naturally all satellites are over. This information below provides an overview of the qualification routes, which is probably a good blueprint of what to expect for 2024.

International Players: Online Satellites at WPT Global

Players from outside the US played for their chance at a seat every Sunday at WPT Global, the online home of WPT. Step 1 satellites for the WPT World Championship started as low as $5 and were available every single day, while direct qualifiers were on the schedule every Sunday, with $220 and $1060 buy-ins available.

Players who win their way to Vegas via WPT Global were awarded a WPTWC package worth $12,400, which includes the $10,400 WPT World Championship seat and $2000 in cash for travel and accommodation costs.

The WPT sent more than 1,000 players to the $40 million guaranteed, $10,400 buy-in Championship Event via online qualifiers and live partners.

“Once again, holding true to last year, we are proud to offer a wide assortment of opportunities for players to secure their seat in the World Championship,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska, via press release.WPT Global is the foremost avenue for international online players to qualify, while our casino partners scattered across the globe are hosting satellites and promotions to bring players from all walks of life to Wynn Las Vegas this December.”

Direct Qualifiers ran each Sunday for $220 and $1,060 buy-ins. Winners earned a $12,400 WPT World Championship Passport package that included the $10,400 tournament entry and a $2,000 travel allowance to the WPT Championship event.

Sign up Bonus via WPT Global

Players new to WPT Global won their way to the WPT Championship via their Welcome Bonus promotion. It worked as follows:

  • Deposit at least $20 into your WPT Global account and they provide four free $5 WPT World Championship satellite tickets
  • Deposit $300 or more and WPT Global will add a $22 WPT World Championship satellite ticket
  • Deposit $1,200 or more and in addition to the above, WPT Global will give to you a $220 WPT World Championship Qualifier ticket

Scavenger Hunt

Players completed 6 missions through a week to earn entry to the Sunday freeroll. The winner of the freeroll wpm the $12,400 WPT World Championship Passport package that includes the $10,400 tournament entry and a $2,000 travel allowance to the WPT Championship event. The top 25 freeroll finishers won a $1,500 in satellite tickets to once again have a shot of winning the Championship Event seat.

Weekly missions included:

  • Deposit $20 or more
  • Play 100 hands in total of PLO4/5 (at stakes Low or above)
  • Play 100 hands of Hold 'em (at stakes Low or above, excludes Pace)
  • Play 2 ‘Bump It Up’ tournaments ($55 Lucky Escalator PKO, $22 Daily Escalator Turbo, $110 Nightly Escalator, $11 Mini Slam, $110 Sunday Slam and $330 Grand Slam)
  • Play 20 hands of Poker Flips
  • Play at least two WPT World Championship satellites (buy-ins $5, $22, $55, $220, $1,060)

WPT Global Online Fall Festival: 10 September to 1 October

81 tournaments took place over four weeks of action, and paid out over $2 million in guarantees via WPT Global’s Fall Festival.

There were two $12,400 WPT World Championship Passport packages up for grabs during the Fall Festival. Both the Fall Festival Champion of Champions and Leaderboard Winner will win a package.

Everyone who finished in the top 100 spots on the leaderboard during the Fall Festival earned satellite tickets to win their own passport package to the World Championship.

Satellite tickets ranged from $22 up to a $1,060 buy-in.

  • 1st place: $12,400 WPT World Championship Passport
  • 2-5th place: $1,060 WPT World Championship Qualifier Ticket
  • 6-9th place: 2 x $220 WPT World Championship Qualifier Tickets
  • 10-34th place: $220 WPT World Championship Qualifier Ticket
  • 35-59th place: $55 WPT World Championship Satellite Ticket
  • 60-100th place: $22 WPT World Championship Satellite Ticket

WPT Global Weekly $10 entry Discord Channel Tournaments

Each week, players moved up the Leaderboards in the WPT Global Discord Channel $10 tournaments that take place every Sunday. Be top of the leaderboard after the last tournament each month and players earned a $12,400 Passport package to the WPT World Championship $40 million guaranteed Championship event.

PLO Rake Challenge: September 4 to 26 November, 2023

Players that raked $25,000 in either PLO4 or PLO5 cash games on WPT Global between 4 September and 26 November earned themselves a WPT Championship Passport.

US Players: ClubWPT Seats Available

WPT Global is not licensed for operation anywhere in the US and thus did not offer satellites for American players, but players on ClubWPT had, for a modest monthly subscription rate, a chance to win one of the ten WPT World Championship seats given away as part of the $150,000 WC Passport Challenge on November 5.

Players who won their way to the Wynn via ClubWPT received a package worth $12,500 containing:

  • $10,400 WPT World Championship seat
  • Hotel stay at the Wynn for the duration
  • $1000 in cash for flights and other costs
  • Dedicated ClubWPT host
  • ClubWPT merch
  • Meet & Greet with ClubWPT players

Live Satellites for WPT World Championship Event

In addition to numerous online qualifiers leading up to the big event, WPT featured a variety of satellites at the Wynn in the days leading up to the tournament. This included Milestone Satellites, where you only need to accumulate a certain number of chips to qualify.

There were two types of qualifiers during the 2023 WPT World Championship Festival: $1100 direct satellites and $400 Double Play Milestone Satellites awarding two $1100 tickets to each qualifier.

2023 WPT World Championship Live Satellites

Date Tournament Buy-In Prize
Dec 4 – 6 Daily Double Play Milestone Satellite $400 2x$1100 tickets
Dec 9 – 10 Daily Milestone Satellite $1100 $10,400 WPT World Championship entry
Dec 11 – 14 2x Daily Milestone Satellite $1100 $10,400 WPT World Championship entry

Live Satellites and Casino Partners for WPT Championship 2023

For players who wanted to win their way to the WPT Championship via live satellites, the WPT had you covered via their global partnerships. Casinos running live satellites include:

  • Aspers Casino
  • Barbados Federation
  • bestbet Jacksonville
  • Bicycle Casino
  • Card Casino Bratislava
  • Casino Gran Via
  • Crown Poker Club
  • CTP Club
  • Gardens Casino
  • The Gulf Coast Poker Tour
  • Main Event Travel
  • Malta Poker Festival
  • Playground Poker Club
  • Seminole Hard Rock Casino
  • TexaPoker
  • The Star Gold Coast
  • Thunder Valley Casino

The Wynn Las Vegas also held live $1,100 buy-in WPT World Championship satellites in December during the Festival offering seats to the headlining $40 million guaranteed Main Event.

  • The WPT satellites at The Wynn start Dec 9
  • 10 live satellites
  • Nine of the satellite tournaments guarantee 25 seats
  • The remaining satellite that runs on Dec 11 has a 75-seat guarantee

WPT World Championship Festival FAQ

When did the 2023 WPT World Championship Event take place?

The 2023 WPT World Championship ran from December 12 to 21, with the surrounding festival extending from November 29 to December 23.

Where did the WPT World Championship Festival 2023 take place?

The 2023 WPT World Championship Festival was held at Wynn Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada, US.

What was the guaranteed prize pool for the 2023 WPT World Championship Event?

The 2023 WPT World Championship featured a guaranteed prize pool of $40,000,000, making it the biggest live guarantee in tournament poker history.

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