WPT World Championship Covers One-Third of its $40 Million Guarantee WPT World Championship Covers One-Third of its $40 Million Guarantee

The highly anticipated (2023 WPT World Championship), one of the standout events in the poker calendar, is currently in full swing.

The $10,400 buy-in has got off to a decent start, with over 1330 entries participating in the first two starting flights, building up a prize pool of $13.03 million. This represents 32% of the way towards its record-setting guarantee of $40 million.

The tournament promises to be a game-changer in the world of poker. Never before has an organizer hosted a tournament with such an unprecedented guarantee. The $10,400 buy-in breakdown includes $9,800 allocated to the prize pool, a $400 entry fee, and a $200 staff fee. To surpass its guarantee and steer clear of an overlay, the event needs to attract a total of 4082 entrants.

Having already registered 1330 participants, the tournament currently stands 2752 runners away from hitting the magical figure.

A prize pool of $40 million would place this tournament in the ranks of the largest poker tournaments ever conducted outside the prestigious WSOP Main Event. It would surpass PokerStars’ PSPC editions from 2019 and 2023, along with the Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza in 2016. Notably, it would become the largest tournament for a buy-in of this level outside the WSOP Main Event.

The first starting flight Day 1A got underway on Tuesday, December 12, drawing in 609 entries. In comparison to last year’s first flight, the figures are quite similar, as the 2022 edition saw 615 runners. Day 1B on Wednesday saw 730 runners, a notable decrease compared to the previous year, which drew 1052 entries.

However, this time around, there are four Day 1s, one extra flight than 2022. Traditionally, the final flights tend to attract bigger turnouts, raising the possibility that the $40 million guarantee could be surpassed.

WPT World Championship Day 1 Turnout Comparison

2022 2023
1A 615 609
1B 1052 730
1C 1293
1D -
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Wynn has a rich history of hosting mammoth events. It has seen multiple tournaments with eight-figure guarantees starting with the inaugural Wynn Millions in the summer of 2021, boasting a $10 million guarantee. Not only did it meet this ambitious target, but it also surpassed expectations, generating a prize pool of $12.4 million.

In 2022, Wynn raised the stakes by partnering with WPT to host the historic WPT World Championship, boasting a $15 million guaranteed prize pool, then the largest for a live tournament. The event exceeded expectations, drawing 2960 entries and nearly doubling its original prize pool to $29 million. Eliot Hudon emerged victorious, claiming the 2022 WPT World Championship title and a $4.1 million payout.

Fueled by the overwhelming success of the inaugural WPT World Championship, organizers have embarked on an ambitious path this year, nearly tripling the guaranteed prize pool and committing to making it at least $10 million larger than the previous edition.

No doubt, the organizers face a formidable task in attracting over 4000 participants to avoid an overlay. However, this year presents an additional hurdle, as WSOP’s new winter stop, WSOP Paradise in the Bahamas, and EPT Prague in the Czech Republic, Europe are concurrently taking place.

As of now, the tournament has covered nearly one-third of the guarantee, signaling a promising start, but the journey ahead is extensive. The question of whether the tournament will surpass its advertised guarantee remains uncertain.

Day 1C gets underway today, December 14 and the final flight, Day 1D, is scheduled for Friday, December 15. The tournament unfolds daily until December 21, when the ultimate champion will be crowned.

WPT Prime Championship Sees Record Turnout

Meanwhile, the WPT Prime Championship, featuring a buy-in of $1100 witnessed an unprecedented surge in participation, attracting over 10,000 enthusiastic runners. This turnout not only doubled its initial $5 million guarantee but also marked the largest field in the history of $1k buy-in live tournaments.

Across its four starting flights, a staggering total of 10,512 entrants propelled the tournament’s final prize pool from $5 million to $10.1 million. The anticipation builds as the final table takes center stage today, with the winner poised to claim a payout of $1.38 million, along with a seat to the 2024 WPT World Championship. WPT’s Matt Savage aptly dubs this event as “the largest 1st place prize for a $1k in history.”

Comparatively, the same event last year drew 5430 runners, resulting in a total prize pool of $5.26 million.

“Over the past year, everyone at World Poker Tour has been working extremely hard to bring players around the world the first-class experience of playing in WPT Prime events,” said WPT Global Tour Management Senior Director Cathy Zhao in a recent press release. “In 2023, we’ve reached new heights in the mid-major category with record-breaking fields in cities around the globe.

“That’s what makes the success of this WPT Prime Championship at Wynn Las Vegas so rewarding. The incredible turnout and support from the players, make all the effort worth it. We’re proud to, once again, bring this world-class event to the WPT World Championship,” Zhao further said.