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The Best Low to Mid Stakes Poker Tours
Every poker player dreams of traveling the world playing on the biggest poker tours, but not all achieve that dream. Poker tours such as the World Series of Poker, World Poker Tour, European Poker Tour, and partypoker LIVE are out of the reach of the majority of poker players, unless they win a seat in a satellite because the buy-ins are so large.
Smart businessmen and poker fans have come up with a solution: low-to-mid stakes poker tours. These festivals run throughout the year, have affordable buy-ins, yet give players a big tour experience. Dozens of these poker tours exist. Here are five of the best of them.
World Series of Poker Circuit: The King of Budget Poker Tours
The World Series of Poker Circuit is one of the best poker tours period, never mind one that is affordable. WSOP is one of the most trusted brands in poker and nobody runs live events better than them. Tens of thousands of players compete in the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) events every year.
WSOPC first started by touring across the United States and has branched out to visit locations around the world. Each stop has several side events with buy-ins from $250 to $600 and culminates in a $1,700 Main Event. Gold rings, similar to Super Bowl rings, are awarded instead of WSOP bracelets.
Prizes in all WSOPC events tend to be large thanks to the lure of the WSOP brand. The recent $1,700 Main Event in Lake Tahoe saw Michael Pearson win $133,285 after outlasting 423-opponents.
World Poker Tour is another massive brand that has budget poker tours throughout the year. WPTDeepStacks take place around the world, giving players the chance to play a WPT event for a fraction of the cost.
Like the WSOPC, WPTDeepStacks stops feature several $200 to $550 buy-in side events complementing the Main Event. That Main Event costs $1,100 to $1,650 to enter and always attracts a sizeable crowd.
Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham, United Kingdom hosted a WPTDeepStacks event in October. Some 403 players bought in for $1,500 and created a $527,729. Swedish star Michael Tureniec won the event, banking $105,000 in the process.
partypoker LIVE Grand Prix: Number one in large field poker tours
The partypoker LIVE Grand Prix started life as the Grand Prix Poker Tour, the brainchild of Dusk Till Dawn’s Rob Yong. Inaugural events took place in iconic soccer stadiums around England before the tour switched focus to casinos.
Grand Prix is one of the best-attended low stakes poker tours on the planet. The tour’s partnership with partypoker allows for hundreds of online qualifiers. Each leg has several starting flights that allow for huge fields. For example, the €225 Grand Prix Germany saw 2,889 entrants. Andrej Desset outlasted them all and scooped €100,000 ($107,215) for his tiny investment.
Heartland Poker Tour
Heartland Poker Tour (HTP) has run since 2005 and shows no signs of slowing down. Nineteen HTP poker tours are scheduled in 2019 alone, so you have plenty of chances to play in one. Each of the HTP poker tours features between half a dozen and a dozen side events. The number of events depends on the size of the venue as HTP often travels to far out places.
A $1,100 to $1,650 Main Event is always on the schedule and is the tournament every HTP player wants to win. Ameristar Casino East Chicago’s HTP Main Event saw Joshua Reichard bank a cool $186,812 for his $1,650 investment.
Mid-States Poker Tour
Known as the MSPT, the Mid-States Poker Tour has been on the circuit since 2011 and continues to be popular eight years on. Every one of the MSPT poker tours takes place in the United States with 24 events planned in 2019 alone.
MSPT sometimes joins forces with larger tours, especially when in Las Vegas. This leads to a wide variation in the number of side events and their buy-ins. Main Events on MSPT are well-structured and tend to be $1,100 in size.
For an idea of what the MSPT Main Events are like, Eric Baldwin won $80,872 at The Venetian in September. Aaron Johnson won $86,951 at the Meskwaki Casino, Tama in November. Firekeepers Casino, Battle Creek was a huge MSPT with a $1 million guaranteed prize pool. Robert Noel collected $262,145 from that tournament.
What is your favorite of the low-to-mid stakes poker tours? What makes them so special?