Poker Tournaments Around the World
Two players sitting at a single table can technically be called a tournament, but that would make for a very dull article. Far more interesting are the million dollar jackpots, the tens of thousands of players on thousands of tables, broadcast worldwide.
What Makes A Poker Tournament, A Poker Tournament?
Poker tournaments have massive cash prizes, but the chips the players use do not correspond to money – they are used to determine at what point a player is eliminated from the tournament.
Players pay a fixed buy-in to play in a tournament and are each given an equal, set number of chips.
The winner is the last man standing – the player who wins all of the chips in the tournament. The other players are ranked based on the point at which they are eliminated.
The winner, and often the other podium places or top ten players, wins big cash prizes either of a fixed amount or a percentage of the total prize pool.
The Biggest Tournaments In The World
The biggest tournaments in the world are ranked by the size of the prize pool rather than the amount of players.
The ever growing World Series of Poker, founded in 1970 and held in Las Vegas every year since, has been top dog of the poker tournament world for a while now. In 2014 Martin Jacobson, the tournament’s main event’s latest winner, won $10,000. He was one of 6,638 entrants to compete in the main event of no limits Texas Hold ’em , which was just one of the 65 different games being played. It has been televised since 1973 on various channels from ESPN to The Discovery Channel.
A little younger than the World Series, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure was started in 2004. The inaugural event was hosted on the cruise ship Voyager of the Seas and has since been held at the Atlantis Casino on Atlantis Paradise Island. This year’s champion Kevin Schultz won $1,491,580 (2,041,445.72 AUD) of the $7,915,200 prize pool. It costs $10,300 just to buy-in to the tournament.
2004 was clearly a good year for poker tournaments, as the European Poker Tour was also started. The little brother of the World Poker Tour, the EPT was initially half its size but due to its popularity it is now roughly equal to the WPT itself. The tournament is held in various European cities every year, with a different winner at each of the 7 stops. The Season 11 grand final was hosted in Monte Carlo this year and had a total prize pool of €5,640,000.
In 2010 the tournament was robbed by four masked men who got away with 242,000 Euros. The beginning of the raid was captured on the live webcast. The robbers were caught a few days later and served three years in prison.
Like the EPT, the World Poker Tour is more like a series of tournaments which take place in various cities across the world. It was started in the United States in 2002 and in its latest season it visited America, Cyprus, the UK, South Africa, Canada, and Austria.
Tournaments in Australia
The World Poker Tour regularly visits Australia for the Asia Pacific leg of the tour – the most recent tour visited Melbourne’s Crown Entertainment Complex.
The Australian New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT), organised by the same people as the World Poker Tour and the European Poker Tour, is held in casinos across Australia and New Zealand every year. The final leg of the 2015 tour will take place at Melbourne’s Crown Entertainment Complex in October.
The Asia Pacific Poker Tour is yet another offshoot of the WPT. Australia, as a gambling nation, is of course a regular stop off on this annual tour.
Big Poker Tournament Winners
Big tournaments mean big winners, many of the biggest poker wins have been the result of winning tournaments like those listed above.
$18,346,673 – that’s how much money Antonio ‘The Magician’ Esfandiari won in the ‘Big One for One Drop World Series of Poker event. He’s gone on to win several more millions of dollars in subsequent tournaments. The Magician clearly has some tricks up his sleeve.
The Big One for One Drop event has created another big winner in the shape of British player Sam Trickett. He won $10 million in a single sitting and, like The Magician, has gone on to win millions of dollars in other tournaments – these guys clearly don’t hold with ‘quit while you’re ahead.’