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WPT World Poker Open Starts Tomorrow

WPT Championship Event Starts Jan. 20

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The first event of the World Poker Tour World Poker Open starts tomorrow with a $300 no-limit hold'em event. The $10,000 championship event, which will be filmed for television, begins Jan. 20, and the entire series runs from tomorrow until the final table of the WPT event on Jan. 23.

The World Poker Open is held at the Gold Strike Hotel and Casino in Tunica, Mississippi. It has been a stop on the WPT since the Tour's first season and was the first WPT event to take place in 2003. 

In that inaugural $10,000 event, the world was introduced to David “Devilfish” Ulliott who outlasted 159 entrants to win the event and the $589,000 top prize. Phil Ivey was this event’s runner-up ($290,000).

The second World Poker Open was won by Barry Greenstein, who topped a field that more than doubled from the previous year to 367. He won almost $1.3 million for his troubles.

A year later, in 2005, the number of entrants again jumped up when 512 players came to Tunica to try to replicate what Ulliott and Greenstein had done. That year, John Stolzmann outlasted five the most accomplished players in the world to win the $1.5 million grand prize. The players at that final table were Daniel Negreanu, Scotty Nguyen, Chau Giang, Michael Mizrachi, and Raja Kattamuri.

In 2006, in the midst of filming its fourth season, Nguyen would win his first WPT title after making several WPT final tables. Thanks to a more crowded tournament market, the event saw its number of entrants drop to 327 that year. Nguyen won $969,000, and Mizrachi, who also made the final table of this event the previous year, finished second for $566,000.

Last year, online player Bryan Sumner outlasted another stacked final table consisting of Negreanu, Kido Pham, J.C. Tran, Gary Kainer, and Young Cho. The event attracted 294 players, and Sumner took home $914,000 for his efforts.

There are 17 events scheduled for this year’s World Poker Open, including a $5,000 pot-limit hold’em championship (Jan. 17). The three-day $10,000 championship no-limit hold'em event begins Jan 20.  

A mega-satellite day takes place Jan. 17. Click here for a complete schedule.