Last week the inaugural game of the World Team Poker Tournament took place at the Gold Nugget Casino in Las Vegas. The tournament, which had a $50,000 buy-in, lasted for eighteen and a half hours. Eight teams participated from eight different countries – China, Vietnam, Israel, England, Australia, Brazil, Greece and the United States – but at the end of the night it was China that came out on top.
Team China won a net total of $300,000 in the tournament. Brazil, the runners up, will take home $100,000. It was not a shocking win, as China has been one of the favorites in the tournament from the beginning. The Chinese poker team is led by co-captains David Chiu and Johnny Chang. Other team players include Derek Cheung, Winifred Yu, Rich Zhu, Maria Ho and Chiau Giang.
The team tournament style worked as follows. Each team player started out at a preliminary table. The top two players at each table advanced to the final table. Countries that had more than one qualifying player were awarded only one seat at the final table, with the advancing player taking the winning chips of all other players. The tournament was a mix of Limit Holdem, No Limit Holdem and Pot Limit Omaha. Team captains were allowed to substitute players each time the game changed. The USA and England did not even make it to the final table.
The tournament ended after one of the longest and hardest heads-up matches to occur in recent history, China is the proud winner of the first World Team Poker Tournament.