Mar 3, 2021
By Sean Chaffin
With two series already in the books for 2021, the World Poker Tour now heads to Las Vegas this weekend. The $5,000 WPT Venetian runs March 5-9 and features a $1.5 million guarantee.
Players can take a trip back to Venice, Italy, with canals, gondolas, and old-world charm mixed with plenty of poker. This marks the tour’s return to the Venetian for the first time since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But if the numbers from the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open are any guide, players can expect a nice turnout.
The Venetian offers a brilliant poker room with plenty of elegance and comfort. The venue is generally regarded as one of the top rooms in Sin City. The action kicks off on Friday with another starting flight following on Saturday. A new WPT champion will be crowned on Tuesday, March 9, in quite an elegant setting and prestigious event.
In Season XVII, Ben Palmer topped a field of 734 to add his name to the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup and take home $431,655. Palmer is one of the winningest players at the property and the win marked his 89th cash at the Venetian.
“It means a lot,” he said after earning the title. “It’s one of the casinos in Vegas I play at the most.”
The WPT’s return to live poker has been met with success so far in Florida and Russia. The WPT Lucky Hearts event at the Seminole Hard Rock and WPT Russia both produced huge turnouts. The Florida event destroyed the $1 million guarantee, producing a $5 million prize pool. Players can expect similar safety protocols as seen in those events including mask requirements as well as Plexiglass dividers between players and regular cleaning of cards and chips.
Beyond the championship event, players can expect numerous other nice events. The WPT Venetian is part of the property’s Deepstack Showdown Series with 35 events running through March 28. Buy-ins range from $200 to $1,100 and the series includes some other nice guarantees. Here’s a look at few highlights on the schedule:
$1,100 NLHE UltimateStack ($250,000 guarantee) – Two starting flights on March 8 and 9 with the tournament wrapping up on March 10.
$600 NLHE DoubleStack ($200,000 guarantee) – This is another big two-day event with three starting flights running March 11-14.
$400 NLH MonsterStack ($80,000 guarantee) – Those with a smaller bankroll may want to check out this event with two starting flights and running March 15-17.
$1,100 NLH DoubleStack ($350,000 guarantee) – The double stacking action continues with this even featuring a heftier buy-in. Players will find two starting flights in this event running March 18-20.
$365 NLH MonsterStack ($200,000 guarantee) – Running March 23-28, this event features a monster prize pool at a lower price point, perfect for players with a budget.
Players heading to the Venetian have plenty to check out beyond the poker room. The resort is considered one of the elegant properties on the Strip. From numerous entertainment and gaming options to bars and restaurants, the property offers a stay unlike most.
The adjacent sister property Palazzo is also a fantastic resort and offers luxury and style as well. The Grand Canal Shops offer numerous options for a leisurely stroll among gondoliers manning oars as they drift along the Venetian canals. A nice Italian dish may seem appropriate for such an old Venice setting.
The next WPT Champion will be crowned at one of poker’s best venues and will be rewarded with another large prize.
Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and his work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions.