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PokerGO Tour Commissioner Tim Duckworth On Success Of Non-Hold’em Series

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Apr 19, 2023


Tim DuckworthThe PokerGO Tour has a foundation in no-limit hold’em high-roller tournaments, but in 2023 the tour is taking strides in new directions. At the helm is PGT Commissioner Tim Duckworth, backed by more than 15 years in the poker industry, who has helped get the tour off to a roaring start in its third season.

This year the PGT showcased two brand new series of events, PGT Mixed Games and PGT PLO Series, that greatly exceeded expectations, and Card Player sat down with Duckworth to discuss.

In the first two seasons of the PGT, there were a few mixed games and PLO events on the schedule, but this year you have dedicated two entire series to them.

With the growth in the high-stakes mixed games and PLO communities in recent years, we felt it was time to explore hosting standalone series that cater to these players. Through extensive player outreach, it became clear that there was a strong demand from this section of the poker community. It’s also great to have increased diversification in the PGT tournament portfolio as it allows us to showcase a wider variety of the game’s top players, so we got to work crafting two series we felt these communities would thoroughly enjoy. 

What were your expectations?

We were in uncharted waters as no one had ever attempted a high roller series like the ones we put together. When it came to PGT Mixed Games, we communicated repeatedly with players to finetune the schedule with the goal of attracting the most players. For as great as it was to receive such interest in the lead up to the series, it’s always a bit of an unknown as to who is actually going to show up when the doors open.

We originally felt it would be a success to have four full tables going for the opening $10,300 H.O.R.S.E. event. It finished with 87 entrants and a total of 70 unique players, which at the time was a record for the most unique entries in an owned-and-operated PGT event. Obviously that blew away our expectations.

The PGT PLO Series was always going to be bigger, especially with the series taking place during March Madness and there being a general interest for the players to be in Las Vegas. When the doors opened for the first event and the field grew to 200 entrants, we knew that a big week of Omaha was on our plate. We had Omaha specialists from all around the world flying in, saying they wouldn’t miss it.

How would you rate the players’ response to both PGT Mixed Games and PGT PLO Series?

At the risk of sounding like too much of a homer, the players loved both series. We built these competitions for very specific player pools, and the turnouts and feedback tell us that the players truly appreciated the offerings. We spent a lot of time creating what we thought was a great schedule of events, and it felt awesome to hear players reciprocate that and say that we could run it back exactly the same and they would return.

The incredible atmosphere inside the PokerGO Studio was extra special. We had the world’s best players in mixed games and Omaha battling each other for bragging rights and we couldn’t have asked for more.

I guess that means these series will remain a part of the PGT?

Even before each series reached its halfway point, there were players asking for more in the second half of the year. With both PGT Mixed Games and the PGT PLO Series being overwhelming successes, we have already started planning the next installment of each.
Of course, we don’t want to do too much too soon, but if the demand is there, and it certainly appears to be, then these series will remain a part of the PGT for years to come. Currently, we are reviewing player feedback and exploring potential dates for the next runs of both.

It is a little too early to lock in dates, but we are targeting October. We’re also exploring the idea of running the PGT Mixed Games and the PGT PLO Series back-to-back.
This will give players planning their travel one extended trip to Las Vegas instead of two. We’re hoping we can create another batch of can’t-miss PGT events. ♠