Detroit News staff and wires
There's a new tour for poker featuring only the game's finest players.
The professional poker league is using a PGA Tour Card format to select only the top players in poker to be eligible for the tour.
The top players invited include some of poker's biggest names — Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Erik Seidel and Phil Hellmuth.
Several other big names, including previous World Series of Poker main event winners Joe Cada of Shelby Township, Jamie Gold and Jonathan Duhamel didn't make the cut, because the criteria caps each player's top tournament win at as much as $2 million and requires at least six cashes for at least $300,000 since 2008, Annie Duke, league commissioner of Federated Sports and Gaming, told the Associated Press.
The league invited an initial list of more than 200 players who qualified for five-year, three-year and two-year tournament cards. The length of each card signifies how long each player can continue to be in the league without having his or her credentials reviewed.
The league has not been named.
Duke said the players were picked based on their results in live high-stakes poker tournaments, including cashes, major wins and money won in the past three years.
"This was the big wrestle — the decision that we came up with is that relevance in the tournament world today is the more important piece," Duke said. "Nobody should be able to get into the league if they haven't been performing in the last three years."
The league launches in August, with plans for five sets of tournaments, including a $1 million freeroll offered only to the league's top 27 finishers in February in Las Vegas.
The league will have three initial tournaments between August and December, all at the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. A fourth event and championship tournament is expected to take place in January 2012.