Press Room

Press Room

Phil Ivey and Dan Smith to Play Televised, $100,000 Buy-In WPT Alpha8™ Johannesburg on February 14 - 15

04 February 2013

Other Top Pros Travelling to Emperors Palace Casino Include Erik Seidel, Antonio Esfandiari, Jeff Gross, Jason Mercier, Dan “Jungleman” Cates, and Two-Time A8 Champion Philipp Gruissem

Local Players Can Enter Through Live Qualifiers; Final $500 Satellite is Nearly Sold Out and Will Take Place at Emperors Palace on February 11 - 12.

os Angeles, CA (January 31, 2014) – With just two weeks remaining until the start of the highly anticipated WPT Alpha8™ Johannesburg, two of poker’s best-known high-stakes players – Phil Ivey and Dan Smith – have added their names to the impressive roster of pros and amateur enthusiasts who will be competing to become the newest WPT Alpha8 Champion.

Ivey, often referred to as poker’s best overall player, and Dan Smith who, in his five-year professional career, has already claimed some of poker’s most prestigious titles including the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond Poker Classic, will be putting their impressive skills to the test against a stellar field of fellow pros and talented poker enthusiasts when WPT Alpha8 Johannesburg begins on February 14.

“I am looking forward to visiting South Africa, and this WPT Alpha8 event provides me the opportunity to combine a great poker tournament with the chance to explore this great country,” said Phil Ivey. "While the field of players is competitive, like Team Ivey pro and coach Dan Smith, I’m also excited about the chance to go on safari and to visit areas like Soweto where I can learn more about South Africa’s culture and history.”
Other notable pros confirmed for WPT Alpha8 Johannesburg include Erik Seidel, Antonio Esfandiari, Jeff Gross, Jason Mercier, Dan “Jungleman” Cates, and two-time A8 champion, Philipp Gruissem. Joining the pros will be a number of businessmen including local South African high-stakes player Darren Kramer, and Greg Ronaldson, who won his entry through a live satellite at Emperors Palace.

“The hype surrounding WPT Alpha8 Johannesburg is getting everyone excited and local players are all working on ways to enter the event,” said World Poker Tour partner Gary Lentin of Shuffle Up Poker. “[Our next] $500 rebuy satellite scheduled for February 11 – 12 is already 75% sold out, and some of the strongest local players are looking to wealthy businessmen to help them with their entries. Everybody is back in the swing of things here after the summer vacations, and all the talk now is how to get into A8.”

Every player at WPT Alpha8 Johannesburg will live the luxury lifestyle during their stay at Emperors Palace and enjoy an amazing array of exclusive benefits, including:

• Complimentary airport transfers to and from Emperors Palace, along with five nights of complimentary deluxe accommodation at the five-star Peermont D’Oreale Grande Hotel
• A dedicated VIP host during their stay at Emperors Palace
• A pair of critically acclaimed Monster DNA headphones featuring Pure Monster Sound
• A complimentary three-day photo safari at the luxurious Ivory Tree Game Lodge where players can view lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephant, buffalo, cheetah, giraffes, zebras, and more than 300 different bird species in their natural habitat

“We are proud to host the WPT Alpha8 Johannesburg, a first-of-its-kind event on the African continent,” said Emperors Palace COO, Bob Yearham. “Emperors Palace offers exciting gaming, thrilling entertainment, exceptional amenities, and superior customer service with a unique style and upscale flair, and is surrounded by a plethora of tourist attractions filled with culture and zest. We look forward to welcoming all of the WPT Alpha8 players to our home.”
For more information about WPT Alpha8 Johannesburg, please contact

About World Poker Tour

World Poker Tour (WPT) is the premier name in internationally televised gaming and entertainment with brand presence in land-based tournaments, television, online, and mobile. Leading innovation in the sport of poker since 2002, WPT ignited the global poker boom with the creation of a unique television show based on a series of high-stakes poker tournaments.

WPT has broadcast globally in more than 150 countries and territories, and is currently producing its 12th season, which will air on FSN in the United States. Season XII of WPT is sponsored by, a unique online membership site that offers inside access to the WPT, as well as a sweepstakes-based poker club available in 35 states across the United States. also sponsors Season I of the new WPT Alpha8 series of super-high roller poker tournaments which is currently in production and which will air on FOX Sports 1 in the United States.

WPT participates in strategic brand license, partnership, and sponsorship opportunities. WPT Enterprises Inc. is a subsidiary of digital entertainment plc. For more information, go to

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