The World Poker Tour and Global Poker Index hopped in the sack this week as they announced that in 2015, 10 elite players will be automatically granted the status of bounties at the WPT Shooting Stars tournament in San Jose, CA.
The top 5 on the GPI 300 and the top 5 on the GPI Player of the Year leaderboard will be dubbed “signature” Shooting Stars and be given the VIP treatment to show up in Silicon Valley and have a room full of people gunning for them.
As if being a super successful poker pro weren’t cool enough, these 10 players will get private jet plane riders, appearance fees and exclusive VIP treatment that the other 40+ Shooting Stars will sit around and be envious of.
Tournament Director Matt Savage found the alliance to be a no-brainer:
“GPI’s top ranked players are the game’s biggest stars. Enticing them to come and play this event is a great way to help grow it’s reputation as a can’t-miss global tournament stop. At its core Poker is about recognition and achievement, and letting the best players in the world enjoy the fruits of their successful poker journeys with exclusive perks is important. Not just to get them in the door, but as a way to celebrate what they’ve achieved and motivate legions of other players to strive for that same level of success too.”
Bay 101’s Shooting Star is, by far, one of the most unique stops on the WPT schedule with up to 50 poker superstars carrying a bounty on their heads, which get paid out in cold hard cash on the spot, to whoever busts them. Also cash bonuses are given to Day 1a and Day 1b chip leaders. The most understated part about the tour is the unparalleled fan base that come out and treat these players like superstars.
Alex Dreyfus, head honcho of the GPI also tossed his two cents in:
“I’m excited to give more and more benefits to the players that reach the Top of the GPI rankings, both in our GPI 300 leaderboards as well as our Player of the Year points race. Our mission is to help poker to become more structured, bring more recognition to players based on performance, results, and consistency. Partnering with Bay 101 for their WPT Shooting Stars stop is a great next step in this direction. We’re excited, and this initiative will be followed by more announcements soon”
This announcement comes on the heels of the Global Poker Index’s announcement about the 2015 Global Poker Masters tournament.