Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall will be hosting the Heavyweight Championship of Poker (HPC) this spring from its home on the Boulder Strip in Las Vegas, it was recently announced. The inaugural tournament's main event will boast the largest buy-in of any major scheduled, open poker tournament in the history of poker, with competitors forking over $100,000 to play. Organizers are hoping to make this event an annual tournament.
The series will be run by Sam's card room manager and tournament director, Dick Gatewood. Events are scheduled to take place between April 8 and 11. Super satellites will run on April 3 and 4.
The main event will offer an estimated prize pool of $10 million, with a first place payout of $5 million. Participation is limited to 100 players, 40 of whom will buy-in directly while the remaining 60 will qualify through satellite events held in poker venues across the United States. Apparently, almost all of the 40 direct buy-in seats have already been filled by professional players. Negotiations to televise the event are currently underway, though no other details have been released.
The most unique aspect of the HPC is that the champion will be required to defend their title against any challenger after holding it for just three months. The challenger will be required to pony up $1.12 million for the chance to compete heads-up against the champ, while the champ will put up a $1 million match fee (withheld from his original HPC winnings). The winner will take home the $2 million prize purse, and the loser will be awarded a free seat at the next HPC. Challenges are expected to take place at least once every thirty days up until one month before the next Heavyweight Poker Championship is scheduled.
Another interesting feature of this tournament is that players who win their way into the HPC via satellite must share 32% of their winnings - 5% will be given to the casino that staged the satellite event, and 27% will be divided equally among the 9 other final table finishers at the satellite. Satellite winners will also be required to bear the logo of the sponsoring casino while competing in the HPC. Direct buy-in players will be allowed to display one logo of their choosing.