Professional Poker Tour, an Overview
Another poker tour which had enormous potential was the Professional Poker Tour or PPT. A by-product of the televised World Poker Tour, the PPT promised to be the grand slam of the international poker circuit. An ‘invites only’ freeroll competition, the PPT was launched with a considerable amount of hype by the WPTE – World Poker Tour Enterprises, or the governing and administrative body of the WPT.
As the name suggests, only the very best players on the professional poker circuit would be considered and, as with the US Masters golf, and other major sporting events, a concise list of qualifying criteria was drawn up. The PPT was promoted as the ‘First Professional Poker League’ and the legendary John Juanda, 3 time WSOP bracelet winner, lent his weight to the event by becoming the first PPT champion, pocketing $225 000 for his poker playing dexterity.
Season One Qualifiers
The inaugural season was taped in 2005 and released for broadcast a year later, and poker players invited to play had to be chosen according to strict criteria, some of which were:
Three Year Entry
- WPT victors
- All pros who made it to at least two final tables of the WPT
- Top three finishes at the WPT Championships
- Top 10 on the “Player of the Year” list of WPT Season 2
- WSOP Main Event winners
- Members of the Poker Hall of Fame and the WPT Walk of Fame
- Top three players in the 2003 & 2004 WSOP Main Event
Two Year Entry
- Pros who came 4th, 5th or 6th in the elite WPT Championship
- Again 4th, 5th and 6th� place finishers in the 2003/2004 WSOP Main Event
The PPT Advisory committee was further permitted to select players thought to be ‘up to scratch’ and WPT commentators and the top ten pros on the Europe Poker list (2004) were also included for either1, 2 or 3 year stints.
The inaugural season went off with a hitch and the schedule of Season 2 was duly released by the organisers, but none of the planed events ever took place. There was postponement after postponement, and the story doing the rounds was that the PPT had failed to secure a contract for television coverage for the second season.
Season 1 Results – All Champions won $225 000
- World Poker Finals – John Juanda
- LA Poker Classic – Erick Lindgren
- Bay 101 – Tom McEvoy
- Third Annual Five Star World Poker Classic – Lee Markholt
- Mirage Poker Showdown – Ted Forrest