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A Eulogy for the WPT

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

WPT Logo.jpg

Like many of you, I fooled myself for years.

I saw our beloved friend, the World Poker Tour, exhibit the first signs of trouble back in 2008, when its strongest limb, the WPT Championship, suffered a strong blow, falling slightly in both attendance and prize pool.

A momentary slip up, I thought. A brief dip to show us that everything in the world is, in fact, mortal.

I mean, this was the WPT. The tour that in 2005 bounced back immediately after it's darling child, the Professional Poker Tour, expired, having made it only one season. The tour that stemmed the tides of adversity when the World Series of Poker Circuit tried to encroach on the WPT's God-given territory back in 2006. The tour of Gus Hansen, Erick Lindgren and J.C. Tran; the tour of exotic locations, poker legends and millions of dollars.

But we should have known...everything is mortal.
    
  
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The WPT playfully laughing it up with friends

We all know what happened next. A small dip in 2008 turned into a large dip in 2009, World Poker Tour Entertainment had to sell the WPT to Party Gaming in late '09 and, just a few days ago, the WPT season eight championship fell to under 200 entrants, creating a prize pool the lesser of every WPT Championship since season two.

With the WPT now on its death bed, I had time to think about the good times, the early poker boom times.

The times when Steve Lipscomb came to the Travel Channel with an idea for a global poker tour, in the same vein as professional bowling or golf.

This was before the 2003 World Series, before Chris Moneymaker's historic victory, pre-poker boom. But, Lipscomb's pitch worked, giving poker a strong platform to display what the game had to offer American television audiences.

Yes, the WPT on the Travel Channel might have been a bit out of place alongside Anthony Bourdain's culinary adventures and Samantha Brown's glittery travel profiles, but it was able to promote poker to a whole new group of people.

Amarillo Slim may have popularized poker somewhat after his 1972 WSOP victory when he went on the Johnny Carson show, but the WPT publicized poker an entirely new level.

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Oh and the money, we can't forget how much money the WPT brought to poker


  
Sure the WPT's logo-banning chicanery and its bowdlerization of long final tables for television purposes might have led many of us to stray away from this once great tour, but that is all in the past and I will refrain from letting this address slip into that of being a dyslogy.

Instead let us remember the WPT for what it brought to poker, for what it help create...fertile territory for the European and North American Poker Tours to develop.

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Thank you WPT for paving the way for a real poker tour!




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3 Comments

Tory said:

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1) Dyslogy: not a word. I'm standing by that. Anyone here know what it means? Anyone? Didn't think so.

2) Bowdlerization: to bowdlerize. Bowdlerize: to expurgate. Expurgate: to bowdlerize. I hate the Google dictionary.

Chasse Rehwinkel said:

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Dyslogy: To speak ill of, the opposite of eulogy.

Bowdlerize: To simplify or edit.

Thank you for choosing the Windy City Rounder SAT Prep class, expanding lexicons since 2009.

Tory said:

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I would respond to this, but I don't think anything I have to say is appropriate for the blog.

Sorry my vernacular is not capacious enough for you.

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