The World Poker Tour (WPT) season has almost ended. It ran differently for the first time this year, a byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic. A WPT season usually runs from mid-summer one year to late spring the next.
Season XIX, however, will finish this month after having begun in mid-May. The season will be wrapped up early by the WPT Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic.
The WPT Takes On a New Look
The pandemic, which disrupted the global gaming industry last year, saw many regular WPT stops being canceled or delayed. This was the beginning of a retooling of the WPT seasons.
The WPT will also be celebrating its 20th season and wants it to be continuous from the beginning to the end of each year. That will be the case in 2022.
As the WPT embarks on a new course, there may be some changes. Element Partners purchased the WPT and associated poker assets from Allied Esports Entertainment in July of this year. WPT executives are still unsure what this means and are behind Element Partners.
Some announcements and revelations are likely to be made in the coming months. As a result of the new ownership and Season 20 beginning in January, it will be a new era for the World Poker Tour.
Angelica Hael, WPT Vice President of Global Tour Management, only hints at the future. She said the organization is ready to close out the season with a showcase in one of its longest-running partners.
Five Diamond Already Producing Winners
Held from December 2-19, the 2021 Five Diamond World Poker Classic features 13 high-roller events at Bellagio. Eight high-stakes tournaments have been completed with prizes totaling more than $4.4 million.
Justin Bonomo won the $103,000 buy-in high roller event for $928,200. He then won the $10,500 No-Limit Hold’em buy-in event for his second title and third for this year. Bonomo won against 32 other entries to earn $128,000 and 240 points in the Card Player Player of the Year (POY) race.
The 36-year-old poker pro was cashing for six figures or greater in this event for the 77th consecutive time. His career earnings increased to over $59 million with this latest win, further increasing his position on Card Player’s all-time money list.
With more than $3.9 million in earnings from these deep runs, this was Bonomo’s sixth POY-qualified final table. Bonomo is now in 77th position in the 2021 POY Race, sponsored by Global Poker. He also earned 128 PokerGO Tour Points as champion, enough for him to climb up to 18th on the leaderboard.
Pot-Limit Omaha Makes an Appearance
By the close of registration, the lone Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) high roller had attracted 35 participants. After striking a heads-up deal with Hank Yang, Felipe Ramos, a Brazilian poker pro, was declared the winner. With that, Ramos picked up his fourth-best win, bringing his career earnings up to almost $2.8 million.
Thailand’s Punnat Punsri finished fourth for $35,000. Adam Hendrix was just short of his eighth POY-qualified final table of the year. He hit the rail on the bubble after his top set of queens fell when Punsri rivered a King-high straight to win the pot.
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