888 Poker Signs on to Bring WPT 500 Series Back to the U.K.
After a year’s absence, the World Poker Tour (WPT) has partnered with 888 Poker to bring the popular WPT500 series back to the United Kingdom.
The WPT500 debuted in 2014, with events taking place in both Las Vegas and Nottingham, England. The U.K. version was held annually through 2016, before taking a one-year hiatus from the global tournament circuit last year.
But throughout the month of March, players across the U.K. will have several opportunities to compete in the 2018 WPT500.
As the tournament’s title suggests, the WPT500 provides players with an affordable price point -buy-ins are set at $500 plus a $65 service fee – through which to enter WPT-organized events. Both the Las Vegas and U.K. editions traditionally offer a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million, and that’s the case once again for the revived version.
The festivities begin on March 11, when the 888 Poker online platform hosts the first Day 1 starting flight. This will be the only chance for players to qualify online for Day 2, and the buy-in will be $565 as per usual.
In a press release announcing the tournament schedule, decorated poker pro Dominik Nitsche – who represents 888 Poker as a sponsored Ambassador – commented on the clever addition of an online starting flight for a live tournament:
“I love the event because I get to play Day 1 online. It has everything that people enjoy about poker. There’s nothing like playing deep in a tournament. I can’t stress enough how important the structure is in a format like this. The WPT got it just right.”
From there, the Aspers Casinos chain will host a series of live starting flights, with 15 of the Day 1s scattered throughout the U.K.
On March 23, the Aspers Westfield Stratford City, Casino Milton Keynes, and Aspers Newcastle venues will host Days 1A, 1B, and 1C, respectively.
On March 24, Days 1D and 1E will take place at Aspers Westfield Stratford City, while Day 1F plays out at Casino Milton Keynes, and Day 1G kicks off at Aspers Casino Newcastle.
On March 25, Aspers Westfield Stratford City, Casino Milton Keynes, and Aspers Newcastle will be the respective hosts of Days 1H, 1I, and 1J.
After that, Days 1K through 1O will be hosted by Aspers Westfield Stratford City between March 30-31.
For each of these live starting flights, the buy-in has been set at £420. Players begin with 15,000 chips and the first eight blind levels last for 30 minutes, before extending to 40 minutes, and 60 minutes at the final table. Reentries are allowed in the early stages of a starting flight, and players who bag a stack by day’s end are free to enter additional starting flights in search of a bigger stack.
Online satellites priced as low as $0.10 are also available at 888 Poker between now and the first starting flight.
When all Day 1s have been completed, the surviving field will reconvene on April 1 at Aspers Westfield Stratford City to play out Day 2. The tournament’s final takes place the following day at the same venue.
WPT tournament director Matt Savage, who devised the unique structure using over a dozen starting flights, spoke to the WPT500’s appeal among recreational players and pros alike:
“The WPT500 is a great event that works beautifully. It gives the smaller buy-in player a chance at life-changing money and allows you to cash multiple times in the same tournament.
We are happy to have 888 as a partner and they will provide qualifiers and even add an online component to WPT500 making for a massive event!”