WPT TOC: The Magician’s Appearance

WPT Tournament of Champions
Level 2: 100/200 with a 25 ante
Total Players: 63

Antonio Esfandiari (San Francisco, CA)
Antonio Esfandiari (San Francisco, CA)

The player count stands at 63 with the most recent entry belonging to the top poker player in terms of cash earned. Antonio Esfandiari has taken home more than $26 million in his career with three WSOP bracelets, two WPT titles, and one WSOP Circuit ring from a few weeks ago.

The biggest part of Easfandiari’s earnings came courtesy of an $18 million for winning the WSOP Big One For One Drop $1,000,000 buy-in tournament. He won his first WSOP bracelet and WPT title in 2004 and hasn’t looked back since.

WPT TOC: Altman Ousted

WPT Tournament of Champions
Level 2: 100/200 with a 25 ante
Total Players: 63

Ralph Notaro02112015LHPO Winner106 Brian Altman Champion
Brian Altman, 2015 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open Champion

We added a few more players over the first level but we also lost our first. Brian Altman earned his seat in the WPT Tournament of Champions when he won our WPT championship here during the 2015 Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open but he’ll have to look to next season for his second.

Altman lost nearly 90% of his chips to Noah Schwartz when his rivered flush was no good against the rivered boat of Schwartz. The rest of them went to Shawn Cunix to send Altman out.

On top of being the first one eliminated, Altman had to stand in front of the WPT cameras and talk about it.

WPT TOC: Zinno Passes to Shariati

WPT Tournament of Champions
Level 1: 75/150 with a 25 ante
Total Players: 59

Anthony Zinno (Boston, MA)
Anthony Zinno (Boston, MA)

Anthony Zinno is the reigning WPT Player of the Year but he’ll hold that title only for the duration of this event, the last of the current WPT season.

Zinno is one of four players who have captured three WPT titles (Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, and yesterday’s WPT champ Chino Rheem are the other three) and earned Player of the Year honors. He didn’t take the year off and coast after winning the title. Zinno cashed six times this season including an 11th place finish in the WPT Finale earlier this week.

This season there’s a new POY in town and Mike Shariati is here trying to end his year with a second WPT title. He earned his honor with only three cashes this year on the tour, but one was a WPT title plus a runner-up finish.

Mike Shariati (Irving, CA)
Mike Shariati (Irving, CA)

WPT TOC: Back to Defend

WPT Tournament of Champions
Level 1: 75/150 with a 25 ante
Total Players: 59

Asher Conniff (Brooklyn, NY)
Asher Conniff (Brooklyn, NY)

Asher Conniff is one of the 59 WPT winners in the field today and he’s technically the defending champion. Though the tournament was not in this format last year, he won last year’s WPT World Championship last year at the Borgata.

That win, after he famously misclicked an online satellite to earn his seat, put his name on the Championship Cup and made him eligible to play today.

WPT TOC: Setting the Clock

WPT Tournament of Champions
Level 1: 75/150 with a 25 ante

2016 Showdown Shot clock

The tournament area is being set up and we’re 30 minutes away from kicking off the WPT Tournament of Champions. While we wait, it’s time to introduce a new twist the gang at the World Poker Tour brought with them for this invite-only event.

A shot clock.

Much like basketball, players in the Tournament of Champions will be limited to a specific amount of time to make a move. They have up to 30 seconds on the “action clock” or else their hand goes into the muck.

There are extensions available for tough decisions and other variants, but we will go into that later. For now, we have the dealers (and Vince Van Patten pictured above) learning how to operate the system so everything goes off without a hitch.

WPT TOC: Exclusive Field Ready to Go

WPT Tournament of Champions
Level 1: 75/150 with a 25 ante

2016 Showdown Wall

The 2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown has crowned 29 champions with one more to go. The final tournament of the series will also conclude the World Poker Tour season with their Tournament of Champions beginning today at noon.

The $15,000 buy-in tournament is available only to members of the WPT Championship Club so we expect a very talented field today in the meeting room. It also features a ton of bonus prizes provided by WPT and their partners. The added loot includes:

  • $100,000 in cash
  • A special Hublot® watch
  • An Aurae® Solid Gold MasterCard
  • A pair of Monster Gold Headphones
  • A custom premium poker table from BBO Poker Tables
  • A seat in Tiger’s Poker Night Presented by World Poker Tour
  • A round of golf at the world-class Shadow Creek Golf Course with Matt Savage and two friends
  • A 2016 Corvette

Each of the final six players will also win a Monster SoundStage, the high-definition wireless home music system with multi-room audio.

The Corvette — added to the prize pool by Monster — is the newest addition to the list of bonuses, and it brings the total additions to more than $250,000 in cash and prizes.

WPT Tournament of Champions Structure Sheet

WPT Tournament of Champions Starts April 22

With Event 10 beginning this afternoon, the 2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown is one third complete. Action will continue to escalate over the course of the coming weeks, and the series culminates with the World Poker Tour® Tournament of Champions, which runs from April 22-24.

The $15,000 invitation-only event is open to all WPT Champions Club members, and it features a ton of bonus prizes provided by WPT and their partners. The added loot includes:

  • $100,000 in cash
  • A special Hublot® watch
  • An Aurae® Solid Gold MasterCard
  • A pair of Monster Gold Headphones
  • A custom premium poker table from BBO Poker Tables
  • A seat in Tiger’s Poker Night Presented by World Poker Tour
  • A round of golf at the world-class Shadow Creek Golf Course with Matt Savage and two friends
  • A 2016 Corvette

Each of the final six players will also win a Monster SoundStage, the high-definition wireless home music system with multi-room audio.

The Corvette — added to the prizepool by Monster — is the newest addition to the list of bonuses, and it brings the total overlay to more than $250,000 in cash and prizes.

Click here for more info on the WPT Tournament of Champions.