Wpt world championship - world poker tour

The final event on the World Poker Tour schedule for this season is going to be a doozy. Not only will it be a $10,400 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament but it will also serve as the season-ending WPT World Championship at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, just outside of Miami and running March 23-29, 2023.

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WPT World Championship Champ to Earn Crystaled-Out Hoyt Chesney Trophy

The winner of this season-ending event not only will take down the first-place prize but also a sparkling new Hoyt Chesney trophy, which gets its name after the long-time executive who retired earlier this year after 21 years with the WPT.

“When we started talking about an award to honor Hoyt, it had to be something special,” said Craig Boyd, President of the WPT. “Hoyt was here at the beginning of WPT and has been integral to our success for over two decades. This spectacular trophy, handcrafted by renowned jeweler Steve Leinaweaver, perfectly captures the level of distinction we want to recognize Hoyt with. I can think of no better way to unveil this one-of-a-kind award than to present it to the winner of the season-ending WPT World Championship.”

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Leinaweaver is a world-renowned jeweler from Nashville, Tennessee who has designed previous Stanley Cup championship rings for the NHL as well as rings for MLB and NFL championships as well as Olympic gold medal awards for US Olympians and even sceptres and staves for Anglican bishops.  , Leinaweaver took those elements and put them into a custom poker trophy.

“Working with the WPT team to design a trophy that would become synonymous with excellence and be deserving of being named after a true giant in the industry like Hoyt was a challenge and an honor that my artisans and I enthusiastically accepted,” says Leinaweaver. “From selecting the right combination of crystals to perfecting the precise faceting and placement of each one, every aspect of this intricate process was done with great care and attention to detail in order to bring this stunning masterpiece to life.”

The WPT World Championship will feature a $10 million guaranteed prize pool and $2 million guaranteed for the winner.

Satellites for seats into the WPT World Championship start Mar 5.  Online satellates on WPT Global start Jan 16.

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Hoyt Chesney Reflects on Time With WPT

Chesney began his WPT journey all the way back at the inaugural season in 2002 and reflected on his time with the company before he officially retires.  As an avid poker player himself, it was the perfect job for him and he helped grow the game in a positive manner around the globe.

PokerListings: How did you get involved with the WPT at the beginning and what was your role?

Hoyt Chesney: I have been a law enforcement officer since 1987, currently a Captain with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. In addition to my law enforcement career, I have been a professional poker player since approximately 2000. I owned a gaming bar in Nashville called the ‘Fox and Hound.’ While at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles playing in the LAPT, I met Jeffrey Pollack who told me about this new thing called the World Poker Tour. He asked if I would be interested in helping start up this venture. After several interviews and meetings, I joined the WPT in 2002 as Director of Law Enforcement Services and worked closely with then-Senator Joe Barton to write the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) into an appropriate section of the SAFE Port Act. My duties with the WPT were many and varied. I traveled with the tour and worked closely with each host casino on their security and safety concerns, helping to develop policies and procedures related to problem gambling, working with each state’s attorney general and providing technical assistance where needed. Additionally, I worked with local and national law enforcement agencies to promote responsible play through awareness campaigns and problem gambling hotlines. I also facilitated the development of self-exclusion programs at many of our host casinos. One of my proudest moments came when we were filming an episode in South Africa. I was asked to sit in on some of the media training sessions for the Deal and Play Up Cards. I taught them the Dirty Dozen – the top 12 ways criminals cheat in poker – so they would be aware and alert the floor officials if they saw any of these actions at the tables. A short time later, we were filming the episode and the dealer laid out the deck in plain view for everyone to see - she was new and didn’t know about our class with Mr. Chesney! I was standing next to Steve Lipscomb and he tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, ‘Make your move’. I raised the alert to the floor and we caught her in the act. That was a proud moment for me knowing that the work we did with the dealers was paying off and helping us prevent cheating and crime on the WPT.

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PL: What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment while with the WPT?

HC: There have been so many things that I have enjoyed doing for the WPT over the years. If I had to pick just one, I would say that I am most proud of the fact that the WPT has always maintained a reputation for integrity, transparency and fairness. We are the gold standard in poker and that is no accident. It is the result of the hard work and dedication of so many people who have worked for the WPT over the years. I feel honored to have been a small part of such an amazing organization.

PL: What changes have you seen in poker during your tenure?

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HC: When I first joined the WPT, poker was still very much an underground activity. There were very few legal places to play and it was often associated with criminal activities. Since then, poker has exploded in popularity and is now a mainstream activity enjoyed by millions of people around the world. One of the most significant changes I have seen is the increasing emphasis on regulation and oversight. More and more jurisdictions are recognizing the benefits of regulated poker and are working to create safe and controlled environments for players to enjoy the game. This is a positive development as it helps to protect players from harm and ensures the integrity of the game. Another change I have noticed is the growing recognition of the importance of responsible gambling. As the industry has grown, there has been a greater focus on ensuring that players gamble responsibly and that those who do experience problems are able to access the help and support they need. This is an area that I have been particularly passionate about, and I am proud of the work that the WPT has done in this area. Finally, I think it is important to note the impact that technology has had on the poker industry. The rise of online poker has opened up new opportunities for players and operators alike, and has helped to drive innovation and growth within the industry. At the same time, however, it has also raised new challenges, such as the issue of gambling addiction and underage gambling. It is important that we continue to work together to address these challenges and ensure that technology is used in a way that is beneficial for all.

PL: Looking back, is there anything you wish you could have done differently or approached in a different way?

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HC: In hindsight, there may have been times when I could have been more assertive in advocating for certain issues or pushing for change. However, overall I am very proud of the work I have done with the WPT and the positive impact it has had on the industry.

PL: What does retirement look like for you?

HC: Retirement will allow me to spend more time with my family and pursue some of my other passions, such as travel and photography. I also hope to find new ways to give back to my community and make a positive difference in the world.

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PL: What advice would you give to your younger self starting out at the WPT?

HC: Embrace the opportunities that come your way and never stop learning. The poker industry is constantly evolving, and staying informed and engaged is critical to staying relevant and effective.

PL: What do you see as the future of poker?

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HC: The future of poker looks very bright. As more people discover the joys of the game and regulatory frameworks continue to mature, I believe we will see further growth and expansion within the industry. Technology will continue to play a major role, with innovations like virtual reality offering new and exciting ways for people to enjoy the game. However, it is important that we remain vigilant and continue to prioritize issues such as responsible gambling and player protection. By working together and addressing these challenges proactively, I am confident that the future of poker is very bright indeed.

PL: Anything you'd like to promote or let people know about before you go?

HC: I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported the WPT over the years. Whether you are a player, a fan, or simply someone who believes in the power of poker to bring people together and create meaningful experiences, your support is greatly appreciated. And to those of you who may be struggling with gambling addiction or know someone who is, please remember that help is available. Reach out to organizations like Gamblers Anonymous or the National Council on Problem Gambling for information and support. Together, we can ensure that poker remains a vibrant and thriving community for generations to come.