Popular Event Already Confirmed for July 2015 and Next WPT500 is November 2014
The $500 + $65 buy-in $1 million guaranteed “partypoker presents: WPT500 at ARIA Resort & Casino” in Las Vegas that ran from July 4-9 wildly exceeded all expectations. With a total of 3,599 entries, a total prize pool of nearly $1.8 million and first place picking up $260,000, the $1 million guarantee was smashed as players lined up around ARIA looking to get a piece of the action.
In the end it was 39-year-old Los Angeles Biotech sales consultant Sean Yu who took down the final table as the recreational player knocked off WPT Champions Club members Christian Harder and Scott Clements along the way. Runner-up was 32-year-old Foxwoods regular Kareem Marshall from Boston, who was cheered on every minute of the epic finale by NFL defensive tackle Richard Seymour, a big poker fan and three-time Super Bowl winner with the New England Patriots. Others who made their mark on the Final Table, run by Matt Savage, included France’s Team PMU.fr pro Brian Benhamou and bwin.be online qualifier Messadek Soufiane from Liege, Belgium, who free-rolled his way into the tournament to secure ninth place.
Yu said his victory was sweet, “I entered on Day 1A but didn’t get through so I had a go at the last chance satellite at 8:30 a.m. this morning. In one day of poker I have turned $565 into $260,000 – it is really amazing, I love the format.” All WPT500 final table participants (final nine players) also received a buy-in to next year’s WPT500 at ARIA in July 2015 along with hotel accommodation.
For full information on how the action played out see: The World Poker Tour site with more content available at the partypoker blog. For imagery see the WPT Flickr stream.
The winner of WPT500 also took home a £2,000 package to the upcoming partypoker presents: WPT500 at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham, UK and Sean, who has never been to the UK, was presented his package by Dusk Till Dawn Director Simon Trumper after he won. The WPTUK event is scheduled to take place November 11-16, 2014 and will feature a buy-in of £500 and a guaranteed prize pool of £1,000,000 as well as a Main Event. Online qualifiers for this event starts on partypoker.com and partner sites on August 3.
Group Director for partypoker Jeffrey Haas said, “This event was an amazing success that surpassed our expectations and really seemed to strike a chord with the community. There were more than 100 online qualifiers from partypoker and partners, all of whom seemed to love the opportunity to qualify online to play one of the greatest events in Las Vegas this summer. I would like to pay tribute to everybody at ARIA and Matt Savage for getting everyone seated in very challenging circumstances. We cannot wait for next year’s event when we expect bigger fields, richer prize pools and an even more FUN experience for recreational poker players from around the world.”
World Poker Tour President Adam Pliska said, “The idea with the WPT500 was to offer all you would expect from the World Poker Tour but with a more accessible buy-in and we are delighted by the response. I would like to thank our valued partner ARIA for going the extra mile to accommodate players. Now we cannot wait for the next year’s event and the next WPT500 which takes place at WPTUK at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham in November.”
Adam Altwies, Director of Poker Operations at ARIA, said, “Our entire staff at ARIA would like to thank everyone for a great event. We were blown away with the 3,599 entries for our premiere partypoker presents the WPT500 at ARIA. I am grateful to the players who experienced ARIA for their first time and we look forward to their return. I also am grateful to our players who continue to support us in every way and play in our room on a regular basis. We’d like to thank partypoker and WPT for being great partners and we are already looking forward to the July 2015 event which will be even bigger and better.”
partypoker presents: WPT500 at ARIA featured five Day 1’s and the final table. Each Day 1 flight started at 12 p.m. Registration was open daily until 4:30 p.m. Players who played multiple Day 1’s had the opportunity to carry their biggest stack forward to Day 2. On July 9 there was a special last chance $500 + $65 turbo heat with fast and furious 15-minute levels.
Among those who rocked up with a $565 buy-in included poker legend Phil Hellmuth, New Jersey Devils NHL icon Ken Daneyko, WPT Alpha 8 regulars Bill Perkins and Dan Shak, plus team partypoker.com’s Kara Scott, Mike Sexton, Marvin Rettenmaier, Scott Baumstein and Jamie Kerstetter. Even more significant were the unknown faces – all playing big time WPT poker for a small buy-in over Independence Day weekend. The event attracted more entrants than any other event in WPT history. Online qualifiers secured their seats for this event from as little as $1. Where this differed to your typical online qualifier for a live event is that players could lock up as many as six entries to have a crack at the $1,000,000++ prize pool!