World Poker Tour Adds Venetian to Season XVIII Schedule

  • $5,000 buy-in Main Event runs March 13-17, guaranteed prize pool of $2 million
  • Tour stop comes immediately after WPT L.A. Poker Classic and WPT Rolling Thunder
  • Ben Palmer won the first WPT at Venetian last year
Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas
The WPT at Venetian has been added to the 2020 World Poker Tour schedule. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

$5,000 buy-in, $2 million guarantee

The World Poker Tour (WPT) announced on Thursday the addition of the Venetian as a tour stop on the Season XVIII schedule. The entire poker festival, which includes preliminary events and the headlining WPT at Venetian, will run March 9-29, 2020.

The WPT has guaranteed a $2 million prize pool for the event

The Main Event will be held March 13-17 with a buy-in of $5,000 ($4,625 + $375). There will be two starting days; the event will span five calendar days total, with the final table playing out on Tuesday, March 17.

The WPT has guaranteed a $2 million prize pool for the event. Depending on how much is taken from the prize pool to pay tournament staff, about 440+ entries will be needed to hit the guarantee.

Filling in for Bay 101 Shooting Star

WPT at Venetian slots into the World Poker Tour schedule right after two west coast stops: WPT L.A. Poker Classic and WPT Rolling Thunder. It effectively replaces the extremely popular WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star, which was removed from the schedule two seasons ago.

Bay 101 had been part of what the WPT called the “California Swing.” Players who competed in the L.A. Poker Classic, Rolling Thunder, and Bay 101, all in a row, and all in the Golden State, would earn leaderboard points. The winner after the three events would receive prizes such as buy-ins and hotel stays for the following year’s California Swing.

The Venetian is clearly not in California, but it does allow the WPT to piece together a “west coast swing” of sorts.

World Poker Tour officials have never given a complete explanation as to why Bay 101 was eliminated from the Tour. All they have said publicly is that it was a “mutual agreement” between WPT and the casino.

First WPT at Venetian was a success

WPT at Venetian debuted on the Tour last year, also in March. The 2019 iteration of the event had a smaller total buy-in, $3,500, as well as a lower guaranteed prize pool of $1 million. Players ponied up 734 entries, allowing the prize pool to more than double the guarantee, settling at $2.3 million.

we thank the players for their support heading into this season’s event in March.”

“The magnitude of the WPT and The Venetian brands were on full display last season with the incredible turnout, and we thank the players for their support heading into this season’s event in March,” said Angelica Hael, VP of Global Tour Management for the WPT, in Thursday’s announcement.

Ben Palmer won the 2019 WPT at Venetian, earning $431,655 for his first major poker title. He said the victory meant a lot because he is a regular at the Venetian. Going into the tournament, he had 88 cashes at tournaments held at the host casino, the second most of any player.