Federated Sports and Gaming have released an initial roster of 218 of the world’s top poker pro’s, who will fight it out an all new live poker league in 2011-12.
Players have been ranked according to the Federated Sports and Gaming system, which takes into account historical results, similar to the ranking system used in golf and tennis.
Membership of the tour will be based on a player’s adjusted lifetime earnings, the number of major poker titles won and the number of cashes since 2008.
The Palms Casino in Las Vegas will play host the league which will run from August 2011 to February 2012.
Players will then earn a tour card that will be valid for two, three or five years, depending on the level of achievement.
For the 2011-12 season, Federated Sports and Gaming will issue 136 two year cards, 55 three year cards and 27 five year cards. Players who earn these tour cards will join the list of 218 of the world’s top poker pro’s.
The 218 players on the initial roster were hand-picked by Federated Sports and Gaming and include some of the legends of poker.
Distinguished players such as Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Erik Seidel, Phil Ivey, Barry Greenstein and Mike Matusow are just some of the names on the list.
Interestingly, top pro Annie Duke has been named as the new league’s commissioner, meaning the new tour will have more of a player focus.
“This is incredibly pro-centric. This is the one piece that is kind of missing from the poker landscape right now, which is something for the best players in the world to compete against each other,” said Duke.
Duke also believes keeping the league membership small ensures the highest quality of tournament play and also allows Federated Sports and Gaming the opportunity to deliver outstanding service to the players.
“Our goal in setting the objective qualifying criteria was to capture the best live tournament players – not a certain set of personalities,” said Duke.
To earn a 2 year category B tour card a player must have made at won least $1.25 million from live poker and must have cashed in at least 9 tournaments since January 2008.
Each event of the tour will begin with a satellite style pro-am tournament. These tournaments will have a $1,500 buy in and award temporary league cards to the top nine finishers.