Debate flares over WPT Ladies Championship

Spoils of War

When the World Poker Tour return to Las Vegas next week for its big finale, the $25,000 WPT Championship won't be the only tournament taking place at Bellagio.

The tournament structure posted on the WPT Web site.

If the tournament were to draw 300 players, that would add up to a whopping $106,500 being taken from the $450,000 prize pool before a single card had been dealt.

This week Jesse Jones, founder and chairman emeritus of the World Poker Association, wrote a letter to the WPT in support of the women choosing to boycott the Ladies Championship. In it, he said:

"I believe you are taking advantage of women, especially novice women who have no idea about prize pools and their equity in an event. I don't believe for a second, as Steve denied on air, that there is some long or short term gain for the WPT in offering a WPT Ladies Championship."

On Poker Talk America, Lipscomb said that the WPT would reconsider the charity element of the Ladies Championship next season - if, in fact, the WPT decides to bring it back. That decision won't be made until well after this year's tournament is finished.

Meanwhile, the tournament is still on track to proceed as scheduled. The WPT organizers said they are "thrilled to move forward with the 15% donation to benefit Komen to help end breast cancer forever."

That makes it the only championship event in poker to donate part of its prize pool to charity. However, the WPT is taking into consideration all the feedback their getting to consider for future events.

One such suggestion comes from Jones, who brought up the idea of the WPT making a donation to the Foundation from its own coffers for each player entering the tournament, while also asking the players to make a matching donation.

It was an idea the WPT said it would certainly consider for future events, and it would also "absolutely" be open to withholding part of the prize pool from one of its other poker tournaments, such as the WPT Championship in order to make a donation to an affiliated charity.

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