The World Poker Tour added a new stop to its tour last year, and it was not part of the normal schedule. WPT Canada was a special series of tournaments held and filmed for later broadcast on Canadian television. After several months, it has been announced that Rogers Sportsnet will begin airing the shows on the week of September 1, 2008.
The Coast to Coast Championships were held at the River Rock Casino in Vancouver in May of 2008. Two primary events were filmed, the first being a $1000 buy-in three-day bounty tournament in which 439 players competed for the prize pool and a seat in the main event. Bounties included Kenna James, Antonio Esfandiari, Brad Booth, Gavin Smith , Jody Trainer, and Davidson Matthew. This will be televised in two parts on Rogers Sportsnet.
The second tournament was the main event, where 302 players competed in the $3000 buy-in tournament. Six relative unknowns made the final table to compete for the $224,100 first prize, and all of the action will be shown in another two episodes on Canadian television. In the end, it was a local Vancouver player by the name of Keith Wintermans who clinched the title and top portion of the prize pool against second-place finisher Patrick McCaw.
Announcers for the series were poker pro Kenna James alongside Canadian sports announcer Jim Van Horne. The one-hour episodes will be aired on Sportsnet East, Sportsnet Ontario, Sportsnet West, and Sportsnet Pacific, which should just about cover much of the country of Canada.
The World Poker Tour has not yet announced if it will return to Canada in 2009 for a repeat of its participation in the Coast to Coast Championships. While it seemed to be a success, the WPT has been focusing more of its attention on the primary tournaments on its schedule that are now contracted to be shown on Fox Sports. However, the company has been known to make additions to its schedule, so Canadian eyes are watching and waiting.