HPT Unveils New Tournament Structure
Longer Levels, Adjusted Payouts Mark Key Changes
For Immediate Release
Fargo, ND (December 19, 2011) – Loyal Heartland Poker Tour players received an early holiday gift last week when HPT officials announced a new tournament structure. Posted at HPTpoker.com, the new structure provides longer levels, additional rounds, and adjusted payouts.
“As our prize pools have grown over the years,” said HPT Co-Founder Greg Lang, “players have consistently asked for more time to get their chips in good. We listened.”
Founded in 2005, HPT’s popularity has grown significantly in recent years. In 2011, the nationally-televised tour sold out major markets such as Colorado, Michigan, and Las Vegas. In Black Hawk, Colorado, a 668-player field produced a record-breaking prize pool topping one million dollars.
In most markets, the new structure allows for re-entry. Similar to other major tours with multiple flights, players who get knocked out early may buy into a subsequent flight. HPT tested the re-entry format at select properties in 2011 and received positive feedback. The re-entry format contributed to record-breaking fields in Colorado and Michigan. Joey Macaluso, Poker Room Manager at Golden Gates Casino & Poker Parlour in Black Hawk, Colorado, said, “This truly takes HPT events to the next level. I am looking forward to seeing the fields continue to grow.”
Players traveling from out of market especially appreciate the opportunity to play additional flights if needed, as their time and travel expenses are already invested. “HPT nailed it,” said Bernard Lee of ESPN.com. “This structure will offer pros and amateurs alike a great poker experience.”
HPT acknowledges that a vast segment of the tour’s following are not professional players, which poses unique challenges. “The majority of our players work for a living and cannot commit the time to play in longer tournaments,” said Lang. “With these changes, we stayed true to our mission, ‘Real People, Unreal Money.’” Tour regular Barry Brown of Michigan agreed, “Now I truly love everything about the Tour.”
Players will notice a change or addition of five new levels over the course of the two-day Main Events. On day one, levels increase to 50 minutes, then up to 60 minutes on day two. In addition, much-appreciated meal breaks are scheduled, blinds may roll back at the TV table, and payouts are more evenly distributed. Details will be revealed soon about the Player of the Year program, which was restructured to create a more competitive cluster at the top.
“The player experience is a top priority for us,” said Lang, “We noted feedback and implemented as many improvements as possible.”
HPT is releasing 2012 tour dates each day throughout the holiday season. So far, dates are posted for events in Florida, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico and New York. Announcements are pending over the next few days for nationally-televised events at new venues, as well as longtime partnering properties. Details are available at HPTpoker.com.
“Players won’t be disappointed with our Season 8 schedule,” said HPT Co-Founder Todd Anderson. “We’ll return to our loyal markets and reach into new areas. We’re anticipating another record-breaking year.”