The overall points earner at the end of the new PokerGO Tour season will win $100,000 cash. [Image: PokerGO.com]
$100,000 for Player of the Year
Subscription poker streaming service PokerGO has unveiled a new, live poker tournament tour, dubbed, appropriately, the PokerGO Tour. Along with the PokerGO Tour comes what the organization says is the “first-ever global professional poker ranking system.”
Players will accumulate leader board points across 150 live tournaments around the world, including the 2021 U.S. Poker Open, which runs from June 3 to June 14, 2021. The table detailing the points system included in PokerGo’s Thursday announcement is little confusing, but it appears that points will be awarded not based on order of finish in a tournament, but rather amount of money won. Players will win more points for lower buy-in tournaments (buy-in tiers are $10,000+, $25,000+, and $100,000+), likely because winning the same amount of money at a lower buy-in means one bested more competitors.
bringing poker front and center in the world of sports in a way that has never been done before”
“The PokerGO Tour™ events will include the world’s most challenging high stakes events in the world, bringing poker front and center in the world of sports in a way that has never been done before,” said PokerGO president and Poker Hall of Famer Mori Eskandani.
At the end of the PokerGO Tour Season, the top points earner will be named Player of the Year and win $100,000. The second and third place finishers will bank $50,000 and $25,000 in cash, respectively.
Five Tour stops announced so far
As mentioned, the first stop on the PokerGO Tour will be the 2021 U.S. Poker Open at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas. The poker festival will have a dozen events, with the winner being the first to take home the Eagle Trophy.
Four other PokerGO-operated live Tour stops have also been announced, starting with the inaugural PokerGO Cup from July 1 to July 10, featuring eight tournaments. Right after that is the brand-new PokerGO Heads-Up Championship on July 12, where 32 players will compete in a bracket-style format.
September brings with it two returning favorites, the 12-tournament Poker Masters series and its coveted Purple Jacket from September 13 to September 24, and the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl on September 26.
Of course, these do not come close to the 150 tournaments that PokerGO has hyped. It is likely that PokerGO will team up with already-established poker tours and events, rather than trying to grow its own schedule too quickly.
Other poker tournament ranking systems
Though PokerGO says that it has created the “first-ever global professional poker ranking system” to go along with the PokerGO Tour, that is not exactly accurate. The most recent tournament rankings system is the Global Poker Index (GPI), though the accuracy of its leader boards is slightly up in the air right now because of the live poker tournament instability created by the pandemic.
made the GPI into the gold standard for poker player rankings
Created to determine who was qualified to participate in the short-lived Epic Poker League, the GPI really took off after the company that created it, Federated Sports + Gaming, filed for bankruptcy and Pinnacle Entertainment acquired the GPI at auction in 2012. It turned around and sold it to Zokay Entertainment and its CEO, Alexandre Dreyfus, who made the GPI into the gold standard for poker player rankings. The GPI Player of the Year has been awarded to the top points earner at the end of each calendar year since 2012.
Both the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour have their own player rankings, though those are, of course, limited to tournaments associated with their respective series, unlike the GPI, which takes into account thousands of tournaments worldwide. In fact, the WSOP has used GPI’s rankings formula in the past.
The World Series of Poker Circuit also has its own player rankings which determine who qualifies for the season-ending Global Casino Championship.