WPT500 Announced for Los Angeles in Late May

The World Poker Tour announced that it will hold WPT500 Los Angeles from May 21-31 at The Gardens Casino. The tournament will boast a $1 million guarantee for the price of a $565 buy-in and feature 14 starting flights.

It’s the seventh edition of WPT500 and the first one to take place outside of ARIA in Las Vegas or Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham, United Kingdom.

“We are excited to welcome the World Poker Tour to The Gardens Casino for WPT500 Los Angeles,” said Ron Sarabi, general manager of The Gardens. “With a $1 million guaranteed prize pool at an accessible price point of $565, WPT500 Los Angeles is the perfect main event for The Gardens Poker Festival and a must-attend tournament for all players.”

Unlike other editions of WPT500, however, WPT500 Los Angeles will feature the use of the Action Clock, from GAME, LLC. The Action Clock is a 30-second timer active on each player’s turn.

It’s meant to speed up the game and make it more viewer-friendly and has been used by the WPT at the Tournament of Champions, to mostly positive reviews. The Action Clock will come into play when 54 players remain.

There will be four starting days on May 21-24 and then two each from May 25-29. The early flights, starting at 11 a.m. local time, will feature slower structures than the later flights, starting at 5 p.m.

The tournament will also feature a “best stack forward” format, with players allowed to enter as many flights as they wish and bag as many stacks as they’re able to get to the finish line. Similar to other WPT500s in the past, players take only their best stack into Day 2. Unlimited reentries are allowed for eight levels.

Starting flights will play into the money, with survivors returning May 30 for Day 2.

Here’s a look at past champions of WPT500:

Year Venue Entries Champion First-Place Prize
2014 ARIA 3,599 Sean Yu $260,000
2014 Dusk Till Dawn 2,133 Eleanor Gudger $222,176
2015 ARIA 5,113 Craig Varnell $185,800
2015 Dusk Till Dawn 1,616 Richard Harris $230,641
2016 ARIA 3,956 Andreas Olympios $260,000
2016 Dusk Till Dawn 1,835 Ben Winsor $223,093

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