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  • World Poker Tour’s Alpha8 Event Premiers Sunday on Fox Sports 1

    Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 by Ryan

We’re going to get some live televised poker action after all, and it’s
going to start this Sunday. Poker players and poker fans alike can enjoy
one of the more talked about and highly anticipated poker tournament
series’, which will officially premier this Sunday on Fox Sports 1. The
series is the World Poker Tour’s Alpha8 series, and the event is going to
be televised and ran at 9:00pm EST on Sunday. It’s definitely going to
draw a ton of interest, as this was a series that was created last year,
and definitely got interest from all types of players from all over the
world.

The series was basically created to have multiple different high dollar
buy-in events. They are usually more than $100,000 to buy into, and when
the series was created we expected to see a large number of the big named
players jump into the action. The series travels to many different
locations throughout the world, and their first stop was in Florida back in
August. This is the tournament that is going to be featured in the
television premier as well. After that Florida event, we saw the Alpha8
events move to places such as London, St. Kitts, and Johannesburg. It is
also looking like we could see a few other stops before the always popular
World Series of Poker kicks off this summer.

The decision for Fox Sports 1 to sign on as the home for the Alpha8 series
is interesting enough, but the fact that they signed on for three years
definitely shows how much faith they have the interest that this series
should draw. Fox Sports 1 is the home of the WPT circuit, and they are int
he process of showing the Season XII events from the World Poker Tour now.
It’s not exactly a massive surprise that they signed on to do the Alpha8
events though, as they’ve been working with World Poker Tour, and the two
sides have a good relationship it seems.

The President of the World Poker Tour, Adam Pliska put it best when stating
that Alpha8 is going to “offer viewers an unprecedented look into how poker
is played at its very highest levels.” There is a ton of intrigue from
fans for this series, as everyone loves to see a high stakes tournament,
and all of the action that’s involved during the play. The World Poker
Tour has brought in some strong talent to cover the events, including
announcer Lynn Gilmartin, poker commentator Ali Nejad, and poker pro
Olivier Busquet, who we’ve seen cover some of the World Series of Poker
action in the past.

The events that have run so far for the Alpha8 events have really varied in
terms of their success and the number of players who jumped into the
action. The Florida event had 18 players buy-in, and with re-entries we
saw 21 total buy-ins, which meant that there was a $2 million prize pool.
The six handed final table featured some big names such as Joseph Cheong,
J.C. Tran, and Isaac Haxton, but it was the strong play of Steven Silverman
who took down the title.

When the action moved to the United Kingdom in October, there were just 11
players and 12 buy-ins, but the event had a £100,000 buy-in, so multiple
players got six figure paydays. The winner of the event though ended up
being Philipp Gruissem, who won a very nice $1.3 million for the event.
Alpha8 then moved to St. Kitts in November, and 16 players bought into the
event. Gruissem was able to win his second Alpha8 event here, which was
good for more than another $1 million. This sent him shooting up the
rankings in terms of the Player of the Year rankings last year as well.

From that point on, we saw a break until last month when the action was in
Johannesburg, South Africa. The tournament drew in the fewest number of
players of them all, with just nine players and 10 total buy-ins. Daniel
Cates was our eventual champion though, and he still won a cool half a
million dollars for winning.

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