Although you would have trouble saying that their tournaments are a true test of skills (let us be honest – a tournament that draws eighteen players is a home game, not a topflight event), the PokerGO Tour cannot be knocked for trying to make it LOOK like they are a big deal. They are one of the few tours that award their champion a cash prize for their finish (and a large one at that – Ali Imsirovic took down $200,000 for winning the 2021 PokerGO Tour title). The PokerGO Tour is going to make that bigger in 2022, with a tournament capper that has been unheard of since the early days of poker.
Final Event for 2022 to Award $500,000 Winner-Take-All Prize
When the 2022 PokerGO Tour Championship comes to the felt in December, there will be some changes to the format. The final 21 players on the leaderboard for the PokerGO Tour Player of the Year will gather for the event, but with a caveat – their starting stacks will be based on their points standings. This means that the leader of the POY race will start with the most chips (naturally), while the player in 21st place will start off the final event as the short stack.
Over the course of two days, the players will play down to the champion. A final table of six players will vie for the crown, and they will have plenty to fight over. The player who survives the carnage will be the beneficiary of a $500,000 payout in the winner-take-all tournament and also be crowned the PokerGO Tour champion.
“The PGT is the battleground for the most elite poker players in the world, and it is only right that we honor the best of the best in an extraordinary fashion,” said Mori Eskandani, the President of PokerGO. “We are proud to award the 2022 PGT season champion with a $500,000 prize as we continue to celebrate the most talented players our game has to offer.”
This move is unprecedented in tournament poker. The last time that a “winner-take-all” event was held on a stage this important was the 1976 World Series of Poker’s $10,000 Championship Event. That was an important year as it was the last year where the winner of the “Main Event” took home the entirety of the prize pool. It would seem only right that the winner of the 1976 tournament was the legendary Doyle Brunson, who would prove his worth on the felt (like that was necessary) by backing up his championship with a repeat victory in 1977.
Nick Petrangelo Currently Leads PokerGO Tour Standings
There has already been considerable action in the PokerGO Tour. Ali Imsirovic, who won the title in 2021, is back to defend his championship, but he is running into two players that are giving him trouble – one an old foe and the other a new one.
Jumping out of the gates quickly in 2022 has been Nick Petrangelo. Prior to the start of the Wynn Millions High Roller schedule, Petrangelo had already won three events on the PokerGO Tour, establishing himself as the front runner so far in 2022 and a new challenger for Imsirovic. The other player ahead of Imsirovic at this point is Sean Perry, who was battling intensely with Imsirovic in 2021 before fading down the stretch.
These are the current standings in the PokerGO Tour Player of the Year race (accurate up to the Wynn Millions):
1. Nick Petrangelo, 1066 points
2. Sean Perry, 859
3. Ali Imsirovic, 840
4. Jeremy Ausmus, 658
5. Brock Wilson, 636
6. Daniel Negreanu, 576
7. Alex Foxen, 498
8. Jake Schindler, 485
9. Cary Katz, 483
10. Sean Winter, 439
Of particular interest is the performance of both Wilson and Winter. Neither of these two gentlemen have been able to score a victory yet on the PGT (every other player has at least one win). This indicates that they are cashing frequently (six times for Wilson, seven for Winter) and earning substantial points for their performances (and, assuredly, substantial money).