HPT Unveils New Structure Designed by Daniel Negreanu
Fargo, ND - January 11, 2013 – As the kickoff of Heartland Poker Tour’s ninth season approaches later this month, the
tour unveiled a new Main Event structure designed by top pro Daniel Negreanu. One of the most-respected experts of
the game, Negreanu artfully constructed the new and improved structure to maximize the value and experience for HPT
Opinion on blind levels and antes is vast and the topic is commonly debated in the poker community. After ongoing
adjustments to HPT’s structures over the tour’s eight-year history, Executive Producer Fred Bevill enlisted the help of
Negreanu to be the final authority. “We wanted the best possible structure, so we went to the best,” said Bevill.
"I was very happy to help out when I was approached by HPT to take a look at their structure,” Negreanu said. “I think
the final result is a smoother structure with slightly more play."
Negreanu carefully evaluated the objectives of HPT to design a structure specific to the tour’s unique player base. HPT
attracts both recreational players and pro players, with many falling somewhere in between. HPT Director of Operations
Jen Mastrud said many HPT players wish to raise their stakes. “Poker may have started as their hobby,” she said, “but
becoming pro is within reach.”
As their skills advance, players increasingly expect the best value for their time and money, Mastrud said. The new
structure includes all levels common in major tournaments, but features antes starting in Level 4 to create more action.
HPT overhauled the structures for all events for consistency, including popular satellites and side events. Structures for
$45 events are relative to the format of the $1650 Main Event.
“I noticed a few really crucial, big jumps that needed to be ironed out,” said Negreanu, “and also the antes were a bit off
so they were tweaked.”
Because many HPT players have careers outside of poker, consideration was made to run the entire Main Event over the
course of one weekend. The result is a tournament that will take about 25 hours of play to name a champion. Most
events on HPT’s schedule will offer three starting flights over a couple of days. As players have come to expect, those
advancing from Day 1 flights will merge for Day 2 on Sundays.
HPT’s production window was another factor to consider. Television production will continue to take place on Mondays,
as HPT has scheduled in recent years. However, HPT announced earlier this month that the TV table will now be
played nine-handed. Playing down to nine players on Sunday instead of six allows for an upgrade to 60-minute levels
throughout Day 2.
Players will get the opportunity to try the new structure for the first time when HPT takes to the high seas for a national-
televised event aboard a Card Player Cruise this month. The new structure can be viewed at HPTpoker.com.
“Players will see for themselves that there has never been a better time to play HPT,” said Bevill.