The World Poker Tour’s new season gets into full swing this week when it returns to Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, OK. This is the third time the WPT has made its way to Choctaw and is the only stop in the Midwest in Season XVI. In 2015 and 2016, the fields reached the 1,000 player mark and expectations are similar for 2017.
Set about 90 miles north of Dallas, TX, Choctaw has been a poker hotbed for the entire decade. The World Series of Poker Circuitrecently added a second stop there for the upcoming season while other tours including Poker Night in America and Card Player have made stops in years past.
Inside of the Choctaw Grand Theater sits one of the best environments to play poker in the entire country where over 100 tables sit with the banners of previous Choctaw Main Event winners swinging from the rafters. The fields at Choctaw are consistently in the four-figures not only because of the large overall demand for poker, but also the satellites run. For any players looking for as many opportunities to qualify for less than the $3,700 buy in and play a WPT event, Choctaw is the place to do it.
The Choctaw WPT stop offers the familiar price point of $3,700 and has one starting flight available on Friday, August 4 and Saturday, August 5. The $2,000,000 guaranteed event includes unlimited re-entry and players have the option to register as late as the start of Day 2 on Sunday, August 6. As with last year, all levels for the four days are 60-minutes up until heads up play, where they go to 30 minutes. The tournament is scheduled to take place over the course of four days with the six-handed final table being filmed for television on Day 4.
This event is also the first use of the Action Clock in Season XVI following an announcement made by WPT last week of its implementation across all Main Tour stops for this season.
Choctaw has been the setting for top-heavy fields at the final table in both years of the WPT event. In 2015, Jason Brin defeated the likes of Andy Hwang, Jake Schindler, and three-time WPT Champion Darren Elias. Last year, James Mackey beat eventual WPT Season XV Player of the Year Ben Zamani heads up to win his first WPT title while also conquering Craig Varnell and Jack Duong, who were among the final six.
After a long summer in Las Vegas, most of the professional ranks have had time in the last two weeks to recharge themselves for a busy stretch of upcoming events with the first leg of that trip coming at Choctaw. WPT fields are always tough to conquer and Choctaw will be a great test for those hoping to start the new season off on the right foot.