The World Poker Tour is not to be confused with the World Series of Poker. The latter began in 1970, whereas the World Poker Tour debuted at the end of 2002. Thanks in part to the escalating popularity of poker tournaments due to the TV broadcasts of WSOP events, and in turn thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of poker in general due to online poker rooms making it easier than ever to participate in the game, the WPT was born, giving professional poker players (and aspiring poker players) another tournament in which they could put their skills to the test against the world’s best.
The World Poker Tour, like WSOP, is also televised, drawing impressive audiences of poker fans who remain glued to their screens during the events. This increased exposure for the game of poker continues to fuel its popularity among Canadians, who frequent online poker rooms in record numbers and seek out live tournaments whenever possible.
Canadians played particularly well during the WPT third and fourth seasons. First Daniel Negreanu, a household name to poker fans around the world, was named player of the year, followed by Gavin Smith, the famed poker player from Ontario. Negreanu took home over $1.7 million in the Five Diamond World Poker Classiv event in 2004 alone. Along with Bertrand Grospelier of France, who won season seven, these players are the biggest poker stars of the WPT who are not Americans.