The PokerGO Tour (PGT) heads into the final month of its second season and it plans to be a thrilling finish, culminating with the season-ending PGT Championship.
There are 14 PGT-qualifying tournaments left on the season’s schedule, including the huge $15,000,000 guaranteed WPT World Championship. When those 14 tournaments have completed, the top 21 players as ranked by the PGT leaderboard will have earned the right to compete in the 2022 PGT Championship.
There are 13 high-roller poker tournaments at ARIA Resort & Casino in December, all part of the year-long ARIA High Roller Series that qualifies for the PGT. The buy-ins for these ARIA High Roller Series events are $10,000, $15,000, and $25,000, and the complete schedule can be found at PGT.com/schedule.
The WPT World Championship kicks off on Monday, December 12, at Wynn Las Vegas. This tournament has a $10,400 buy-in and a $15,000,000 prize pool guarantee. There are three starting flights with only a single entry allowed per flight. The $15,000,000 prize pool guarantee means that there will be approximately 15,000 PGT leaderboard points up for grabs.
As things stand entering December, it’s Stephen Chidwick atop the PGT standings with 3,274 points. Then it’s Phil Ivey as the only other player with more than 3,000 points entering the final month of the year. Ivey has 3,083 points entering December.
While Chidwick and Ivey are just about locked into PGT Championship qualification, they can still add to their point totals, which means more starting chips in the PGT Championship. Per the 2022 PGT Championship structure sheet, players earn 1,000 starting chips for every 10 PGT leaderboard points rounded up to the nearest 500-denomination chip. If the qualifying period ended today, Chidwick would begin the PGT Championship with 327,500 in chips and Ivey would start with 308,500 in chips. That’s good for 327.5 and 308.5 big blinds, respectively.
The 2022 PGT season’s final month and the 14 events that come with it will be most important for those closer to the back end of the top 21 on the leaderboard and those who are on the outside of the top 21 and looking to get in. Players such as Isaac Kempton (16th - 1,783 points), Jeremy Ausmus (17th - 1,762 points), and Adrian Attenborough (18th - 1,700 points) could make the top 21 without earning any additional points in December, but it could be risky.
“It would be great to see everyone in the top 21 have at least 2,000 points as that would mean the final 14 qualifying PGT events all had large turnouts and were highly competitive,” said Tim Duckworth, PokerGO Senior Live Reporting and Content Manager.” However, it is probably more likely that the PGT points floor for the PGT Championship will be right around 1,700 points.”
Others just below them, Andrew Lichtenberger (19th - 1,550 points), Daniel Negreanu (20th - 1,525 points), and Elton Tsang (21st - 1,492 points), are at the most risk of finishing outside the top 21. Tsang especially because he’s the player sitting in 21st place.
“Andrew Lichtenberger and Daniel Negreanu have a higher likelihood of finishing inside the top 21 given the volume it is anticipated they'll play in December, but they likely won't finish inside the top 21 at their current PGT points totals of 1,550 and 1,525, respectively,” said Duckworth. “Both should want to pick up somewhere between 100 to 200 PGT points to feel more comfortable in locking up a seat for the season-ending PGT Championship. Elton Tsang has won more than $15,600,000 in his poker career, but not a single dollar has come from the USA. It is unlikely that he’ll be playing the conclusion of the 2022 PGT schedule. That means it is likely he'll finish the season on 1,492 PGT points and, consequently, that he is a favorite to drop out of the top 21.”
There are several PokerGO Tour regulars sitting just outside of the top 21. Chris Brewer is in 22nd place with 1,479 points, Cary Katz is in 24th place with 1,404 points, and Alex Livingston is in 27th place with 1,367 points. All three have played heavy PGT schedules in 2022 and will likely be in the mix in several more in December as they chase PGT Championship qualification.
With the WPT World Championship qualifying for the PGT and set to award multiple scores worth four-figure PGT points, it’s a fairly wide-open field of possible qualifiers for the 2022 PGT Championship. It wouldn’t be too surprising to see someone such as Adrian Mateos (61st - 1,009 points), Nick Schulman (62nd - 903 points), Chance Kornuth (70th - 841 points), or Dan Smith (88th - 737 points) make the final table of the WPT World Championship and go on to earn enough points to vault inside the top 21 of the PGT leaderboard and qualify for the PGT Championship.
The PGT Championship is the PokerGO Tour’s season-ending event that will crown the PGT champion and award a winner-take-all $500,000 prize. The 2022 PGT Championship will feature the top 21 players as ranked by the official PGT leaderboard. At the conclusion of all open tournaments on December 21, 2022, the top 21 players on the PGT leaderboard earn eligibility to compete in the 2022 PGT Championship.
Each player will begin the three-table, seven-handed tournament with starting stacks based on the number of points earned throughout the PGT season, at a conversion rate of 1,000 chips for every 10 points earned.
The 2022 PGT Championship is a freeroll for the top 21 players on the PGT leaderboard and takes place December 21-22 at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas. On December 21, the field will play down to the final table. On December 22, the final table will return to play to a winner.
The event will be live-streamed on PokerGO across both days. To watch, simply visit PokerGO.com or download PokerGO to your favorite device and become a subscriber. PokerGO is available worldwide on Android phone, Android tablet, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV, and you can stream PokerGO on any web or mobile browser by going to PokerGO.com.
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