The Professional Poker Tour (PPT) is scheduled to debut in early July, 2006, on the Travel Channel, it was announced recently by World Poker Tour (WPT) Enterprises, Inc., creator of the WPT and the PPT. The show will launch on Wednesday, July 5 at 9 p.m. and will run for 24 weeks.
The PPT will pit select professional poker players against one another in invitational tournaments with huge pots and big action. Extensive qualification guidelines are in place to ensure that players invited to compete are strictly la crème de la crème of the professional poker playing world. No amateurs or semi-pros will be featured on the PPT, with all players having earned their "tour card" through consistent performances at the poker table.
Enticed by five freeroll tournaments with a total of $2.5 million in prize money provided by the PPT, the pros will face off in four grueling quarters of tournament play and one championship round.
Famous poker faces to be featured include T.J. Cloutier, and Linda Johnson.
For its inaugural year, players receive membership based on their previous poker accomplishments -- including winning a WPT event, playing at more than one WPT Final Table in a season, placing in the top six at the WPT World Championship, by scoring as a top 10 point leader in WPT Player-of-the-Year rankings, by winning or placing among the final six at the $10,000 buy-in Main Event at the World Series of Poker, by securing a spot on either Card Player Magazine's Card Player of the Year Top 10 list or Poker Europe's Top 10 list, or by being a member of the Poker Hall of Fame.
The show takes the viewers through the tournament, focusing on one featured table each day of the event. However, every time a player goes "all-in" anywhere in the room, cameras rush to the table to catch the action.
Final table play is distinctive as well: Players must beat the 90-second clock in making their play or surrender their hand. A player may invoke his "time bank allowance" to extend that time period only once during final table play.
PPT hosts include two-time World Series bracelet winner and WPT finalist Mark Seif, actor Matt Carboy, and field reporter Kaye Han.
The five PPT tournaments were filmed at Foxwoods Resort Casino (Mashantucket, CT), Commerce Casino (Los Angeles), Bay 101 (San Jose, CA) Bellagio Hotel & Casino (Las Vegas), and The Mirage (Las Vegas).
"With the Professional Poker Tour we've created a feast for poker fans," said Steve Lipscomb, CEO and founder of WPT Enterprises, Inc. "Just about anytime they turn on the show, they’ll see one of their favorite poker heroes or poker villains...the Best of the Best. They’ll see career-long rivalries played out against the background of multiple-table action. And the 90-second final table clock ratchets up the tension, making every decision a possible make-or-break situation. Heated rivalries, larger than life personalities and millions of dollars on the line make the PPT a sure bet."