Back in the 1970’s there was only one tournament in poker that meant anything and that was the World Series of Poker. As years went on there have been other tournaments that havee and gone, and even though none havee close to challenging the WSOP they have played a solid supporting role to the WSOP.
Tournaments such as Amarillo Slim’s Super Bowl of Poker, The World Poker Open, and The United States Poker Championship have all played Robin to the WSOP’s Batman over the years, but now we have a whole contingent of tournaments battling for the #2 spot.
In my mind there are two things that make a tournament prestigious:
- Historical Significance
- Prize Money
But in addition to these two aspects, there are a few intangibles, such as:
- Is the tournament held at a popular vacation destination
- Is the tournament growing or declining
- Notoriety of the tournament
So here is a look at the current Top 10 most prestigious poker tournaments, numbers 10 through 8:
•10. Partouche Poker Tour Grand Finale
The Partouche Poker Tour came virtually out of nowhere in 2010 –although the tour itself is 3 years old– thanks to a WSOP-like delay between the final table being set and played, having Vanessa Selbst win the tournament, and also because of a cheating scandal that was uncovered -proving that no publicity is bad publicity!
With a €1.3 million first place prize -first-place in 2008 and 2009 was €1 million, so the PPT is growing-the tour has the drawing power of that players love, not to mention it takes place a France, a great place to travel to!
My expectations for the PPT is that it will soon rival the Aussie Millions or the PCA as a stand-alone entity -although, like the PCA it is loosely affiliated with a poker tour.
•9. Full Tilt Poker FTOPS Main Event
The FTOPS is the second most recognizable online poker tournament and the Main Event is one of the most prestigious prizes in online poker, so therefore in all of poker! While the prize-pools have been fairly consistent since the tournament’s inception, the tournament series itself has been growing by leaps and bounds, and Full Tilt Poker has done an excellent job of marketing the tournament. One detriment is the fact that Full Tilt hosts 4 FTOPS tournament series each year, which takes away from the overall prestige of the event.
•8. PokerStars WCOOP Main Event
The WCOOP is THE online poker tournament, and unlike the FTOPS the WCOOP has been consistently growing since PokerStars first introduced the tournament, with last year’s winner pocketing a massive $2.2 million!
Everyone understands the importance of this tournament, and the winners have gone on to have substantial success in other major tournaments, including JC Tran, Carter King, and Yeveginey Timoshenko.
If the WCOOP was a live tournament, with faces and names instead of avatars and screen-names the WCOOP would likely be in the top 5 of this list