Wynn and WPT post biggest guarantee in history with $40M event

WPT and Wynn logos on poker felt
Image: World Poker Tour

Forty is the new 15 it seems, as the World Poker Tour announced it will be nearly tripling the guaranteed prize pool for its season-ending championship in December.

Last year, the $10,400 buy-in event crushed the $15 million guarantee, which was the largest guarantee in poker history at the time. The event drew 2,960 entries and generated a prize pool in excess of $29 million.

With such a strong turnout and positive response to the move of the event to the Wynn, the WPT understandably upped the ante (pardon the pun) for 2023. So, the tour is putting a $40 million guarantee on the event. It marks the largest guarantee ever placed on a live poker tournament.

It will take a much bigger showing than the 4,000 or so players needed to generate a $40 million to break the record for largest prize pool in poker history. That number was posted earlier this year when the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event posted a nearly $94 million prize pool.

“The WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas is poised to reach new heights and we wanted to match that expectation with a guarantee that no live poker tournament has ever seen before,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska. “The journey to December begins now, and we plan on giving players another unforgettable experience at Wynn Las Vegas.”

“The astonishing support and excitement we’ve seen from the poker community after just one year is nothing like I’ve seen before,” added Executive Director of Poker Operations at Wynn Las Vegas Ryan Beauregard. “We look forward to the 2023 WPT World Championship and hosting another industry-leading event with an unparalleled player experience.”

The entire series runs at the Wynn in Las Vegas from Nov. 29 – Dec. 4 and features multiple events with seven-figure guarantees in addition to several high roller tournaments. The Main Event will run with four different starting flights from Dec. 12-21.

The series will be up against some international competition for poker players this year, however.

Last month, the WSOP announced a competing event, WSOP Paradise, that will run from Dec. 3-14. Given where the dates land, it is possible to play both tournaments but will involve some travel time to get from The Bahamas to Las Vegas.

When the WSOP announced its Caribbean series, it unveiled a total of $50 million in guarantees spread across 15 bracelet events. The Main Event, which is a $5,000 buy-in (half that of the Wynn WPT event) featured the same guarantee as last year’s WPT event.