World Poker Tour (WPT)
The World Poker Tour tournaments enjoy great popularity within U.S. borders and all over the world. The most talented and popular poker players consider it an honor to take part in any WPT event. Over the years, since the competition's initiation almost five years ago, its organizers have paid out outrageous amounts to fortunate poker players. Nowadays, the vast majority of operating online poker rooms offer their customers challenging tournaments with seats to the WPT as first place prizes. Winning a seat to a WPT event translates into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an average player to rub shoulders with the greatest poker players of all times.
World Poker Tour's History
A televised series of poker tournaments as an idea is the brainchild of prominent television producer Steven Lipdcob, who is now the CEO of WPT Enterprises. The tour was first launched back in 2002. The first season of this prestigious competition was telecast on the American Travel Channel in early 2003. The show made its ultimate debut on NBC network television in February 2004, with a special "Battle Of Champions" tournament.
Although the World Poker Tournament tournaments are held all across the globe, the majority of WPT action takes place in the United States. The television show evoked great interest in poker, in traditional casinos and online gaming destinations alike. Syndicated internationally, the WPT show is sponsored mainly by a wide selection online gaming resources. The current hosts of the show are Mike Sexton, Vince Van Patten and Sabina Gadecki.
Mike Sexton- Sexton has been playing professional poker for over twenty years. In late 1977, he decided to renounce his job as a sales representative and try playing poker for a living. On top of serving as a commentator on the World Poker Tour, Sexton writes feature articles for prominent poker magazines, such as Cardplayer Magazine and Gambling Times. He is also a host and consultant for the industry-leading online cardroom, PartyPoker.com. Sexton was the founder of the Tournament of Champions of Poker. This unusual event took place once a year, and any player who won a tournament during the previous year could compete for the first prize. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, the event was canceled on its third year of existence.
Vince Van Patten- Throughout the 1970's, Van Patten was the guest star in more than ten classic television shows, such as Bonanza and Medical Center. At the age of 16, he was cast in the then-popular CBS series Apple's Way. In 1978, he appeared in the cult classic show, Rock and Roll High School. Van Patten also played professional tennis and in 1979 collected the ATP Rookie of the Year award. In the past he has endorsed the virtual poker destination Hollywood Poker. Nowadays, he can frequently be spotted honing his game skills at HollywoodPoker.com.
Sabina Gadecki- 22-year-old Gadecki is currently studying International Business at Fordham University in New York City. She attends acting classes at the popular William Esper Studios and is a student at the Broadway Dance Center. Although her biggest claim to popularity prior to her hosting job at the WPT was in a selection of beauty pageants, this young actress/ model is expected to become a notable name in the gaming entertainment business. Gadecki is the third female co-host of the WPT show. She was preceded by model Shana Hiatt and newscaster Courtney Friel.
WPT spin-off, PPT
The series is now in its fifth season of broadcast and still holds the title of one of the highest rated programs on the American cable TV. It goes on air every Wednesday on the Travel Channel. So popular is the WPT show that its producers decided to create a series of spin-off tournaments, bearing the title the 'Professional Poker Tour' (PPT). The new series began regular broadcast in July 2006.