After a successful Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open in Hollywood, one of poker’s biggest brands comes to Tampa.
The Seminole Hard Rock Tampa brought the World Poker Tour back to the Sunshine State. The property kicked off its WPT Tampa schedule on Thursday. The 32-event series will run until Sept. 7.
It is arguably the largest Central Florida poker series of the year. The series culminates with a $3,500 no-limit hold ’em WPT-branded main event.
The main event is scheduled to start on Sept. 2 and will crown a winner on the final day of the series. There will be two starting flights for players to enter and there is a $1 million guarantee on the prize pool.
Other notable events on the WPT Tampa schedule
Aside from the $3,500 main event, several opportunities exist for sizable scores. There are four different $1,100 buy-in no-limit hold ’em events, an $1,100 pot-limit Omaha event, two eight-handed tournaments with four-figure buy-ins, two high rollers with five-figure buy-ins and a $5,000 eight-handed no-limit hold ’em event.
The first high-roller event starts on Aug. 31, just a few days before the start of the main event. It carries a $25,000 buy-in with it. However, the second high-roller starts on Sept. 5 with a slightly smaller buy-in of $10,000.
The $1,100 buy-in no-limit hold’em events take place on Aug. 25, Aug. 26, Aug. 28 and Aug. 30. While the pot-limit Omaha event with the same buy-in kicks off on Sept. 1.
Outside of the pot-limit Omaha tournament, all the $1,100 buy-ins have a guaranteed prize pool of at least $50,000. But given how popular the Tampa tournament series are, those will likely be met and surpassed easily.
Plenty of growth from the 2021 WPT Tampa series
It’s just the second time WPT brought a main tour stop to Tampa. Previously, the WPT held regional events and WPTDeepStacks series at the property.
But it wasn’t until 2021 that the brand’s marquee tour made its way to the Seminole Tribe’s Tampa venue.
Last year, the series was run slightly earlier in the summer and a bit smaller. The 2021 edition kicked off on June 9 with a multi-flight $500 no-limit hold ’em double stack event. And it concluded with an identical $3,500 no-limit hold ’em main event with a $1 million guaranteed prize pool.
But there were only 21 events and there were no high roller fields. In fact, the only tournaments that resulted in six-figure victories were the two events that bookended the series.
Shawn Mohamed won the opening event for $198,287 and Brian Altman won his third WPT main tour title for $613,225.
However, this year’s addition of a pair of high rollers should add at least two more six-figure scores to the event. Additionally, there are 13 more events this year.
The longer tournament schedule and the timing of this year’s series should add entries to most fields. As a result, this year’s prize pools should be bigger than last year.
The 2021 WPT Tampa series was basically a standalone event on the poker calendar. This year, however, comes a few weeks after most of the poker world already made the trip to Florida for the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open.
And those same players could stay in the southeast region by traveling to the World Series of Poker Circuit stop at Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina afterward.