The number of entrants in the WSOP Seniors Hold’em Championship increased by almost 300 people this year, hitting a record of 4,407 players. Apparently, WSOP winners Tom McEvoy and Linda Johnson took notice of this since they’re headlining a new poker tournament series that’s dedicated entirely to seniors.
Appropriately titled the Senior Poker Tour (SPT), this series will hold its first official event at the Horseshoe Casino in Tunica from January 15-19. There’ll be 17 tournaments at SPT Tunica, with a $550 buy-in Main Event serving as the marquee tourney.
In a poker world where Main Event buy-ins commonly range from $1k to $10k or more, the $550 amount is certainly interesting. Back when many senior players were younger, this is around what buy-ins used to cost. So you can bet that more older players will be encouraged to get involved in the SPT.
Overall, this definitely seems like a good thing for poker because seniors are becoming a larger part of the market. Aside from the WSOP Seniors Championship, a lot of players aged 50 and over are entering other tournaments too. Given that these grinders have some money on their hands, it’s definitely a good idea to encourage participation among this demographic.
So does this mean that the SPT is headed for success? Well, the idea of a seniors-only poker organization is a relatively new concept in today’s game. And obviously the SPT is never going to grow as large as the WSOP, EPT or WPT, where anybody can enter, regardless of age.
But as pointed out in the beginning, poker is rapidly growing among older players. So it seems that now is as good of time as any to open up a tournament series that caters specifically to seniors.