roviding the opportunity for amateur players to qualify for a seat in a professional level tournament, the Amateur Poker League (APL) and the WPT are joining forces to create the World Poker Tour Amateur Poker League (WPTAPL). On a weekly basis, over 500 APL tournaments are held seeing over 30,000 gamers gather in approximately 180 venues.
Under the new partnership, all players participating in APL events will earn WPTAPL points, which will post to a leaderboard on www.wptapl.com. Points will qualify players for regional tournaments, and the regional winners will go on to compete in a WPTAPL Championship event held in Orlando, Fla., in April 2008, for the chance to win a $10,000 seat into a WPT Main event.
Additionally, each month WPT will give away to WPTAPL members one seat into the WPT Celebrity Invitational tournament, an invite-only tournament where top poker pros and Hollywood celebrities compete for hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and a $25,000 seat into the WPT World Championship.
The five-year agreement covers tournaments in the United States, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, bringing free, live, No Limit Texas Hold ’Em to the masses. For more information on participating in a WPTAPL event as a player, venue, or sponsor, visit www.wptapl.com.
WPT also signed a five-year partnership deal with Classic Gaming Cruises (CGC) to create WPT Cruises, which will officially launch its inaugural cruise in February from Miami to the Caribbean on CGC’s cruiseline partner Norwegian Cruise Line. WPT Cruises will offer players the chance to sail aboard the premium cruise ships while enjoying exclusive parties, events, a full spread of cash games, and a WPT tournament earning the victor a seat into a WPT tournament. WPT Cruise guests will also receive the unique "eat when and where you want" dining experience of Free Style Cruising provided by Norwegian.
Classic Gaming Cruises has been hosting poker cruises for over 10 years and has an impeccable reputation for providing first class customer service and professional poker operations. WPT Cruises will feature cruises throughout the year from New York to the Caribbean, Seattle to Alaska, Southampton England to the Mediterranean, New England to Canada and Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera. For additional information on Classic Gaming Cruises WPT Cruises, visit classicgamingcruises.com.
"These innovative partnerships are an exciting addition to our business as they help create a broader experience for WPT fans and players of all levels and locations," said Steve Lipscomb, WPTE Founder, President and CEO. "Poker is not just about the tournaments anymore. It’s a phenomenon that has captured and held the attention of millions of people around the globe, and we want to continue creating these exciting opportunities for everyone to experience and enjoy the sport of poker."