History of WPT
The World Poker Tour (WPT) is the series of poker tournaments with the professional poker players from all over the world. It lead to creation of online slots, card counting games and online roulette world tournaments. First it was held in the United States by Steven Lipscomb, television producer who is now the CEO of WPT Enterprises. All the events at the WPT are held at Texas Holdem tables and mainly in the United States but TV broadcasts have attracted many gamblers from different corners to this event. The tour is sponsored by local casinos as well as online poker sites. The event is also hosted by actor Vince Van Patten and the winner of the WSOP Mike Sexton. Among the show hosts and reporters that worked at the WPT are Courtney Friel, Sabina Gadecki, Layla Kayleigh, Kimberly Lansing and Amanda Leatherman.
The WPT was held for the first time at the end of 2002-beginning of 2003 with the final event at the Bellagio Casino (Las Vegas, Nevada) held in April 2003. The first season was televised on American cable television and in February 2004 the special "Battle of Champions" tournament within the WPT was shown on NBC. The next five WPT seasons were broadcasted on the Travel Channel and lately the tour broadcastings moved to GSN and Fox Sports.
The WPT events as well as other poker tournaments draws so many players because anyone who is able to pay the buy-in or win entry at the number of satellites can take part in the tour and play at the tables with the best poker players. One more advantage is that many satellites to the WPT are held online.
How things are now
The technical innovations used in the WPT televised shows have added to the popularity of the tour. Now all the viewers can see the players’ hole cards with the help of specially cameras fixed at tables (“hole cameras”). This makes game more intriguing and allows those who watch the tour on TV to develop somehow their gambling skills. In additional all the hands, actions and moves are commented by the show's hosts Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten. Due to the great success of such shows other special TV programs were launched, among which are the Hollywood Home Game and Ladies Night. In 2008 the WPT announced the launch of the WPT Ladies, the special set of tournaments for women.
In 2004 the WPT Walk of Fame was created to honor the best WPT participants and those who helped to promote the event trough media. Legendary Doyle Brunson, Gus Hansen and James Garner are the respectable members of the Walk of Fame.
It's not whether you won or lost, but how many bad-beat stories you were able to tell.
Grantland Rice, Sportswriter