Matt Savage to Become Executive Tour Director of WPT

by , Jun 16, 2010 | 2:48 pm

Funny, was just typing up a “Rumorati” post about word spreading that Matt Savage would be taking on a new role with the WPT, as some sort of overseeing honcho — maybe like a hybrid of Jeffrey Haas’s and Thomas Kremser’s roles at the EPT? — when a press release came over the transom.

Check it out … a big move in poker, it would seem, for both Matt Savage and the WPT.

No word yet on how WHAT ARE OFTEN PERCEIVED TO BE some of the notoriously worst blind structures in poker, as seen on the WPT, might change under the aegis of a TD known for his much-heralded “deep structures” system of tourney progression. THE WPT, OF COURSE, CHANGED THEIR BLIND STRUCTURES (FOR THE BETTER, ARGUABLY) AFTER SEASON VI IN 2008, SHORTLY BEFORE SAVAGE MADE CHANGES TO HIS BLIND STRUCTURES IN A WAY THAT COUNTERED THE TREND OF DEEPER AND DEEPER STACKS.


LOS ANGELES (June 16, 2010) – World Poker Tour® (WPT) announced today renowned tournament director Matt Savage will join their team as Executive Tour Director. In his new role, Savage lends his years of experience and vast knowledge base to WPT committing himself to improving player communication, tournament offerings, tour cohesiveness, and event growth.

“Matt is one of the world’s foremost experts on poker tournaments,” said Steve Heller, World Poker Tour CEO. “Matt’s expertise and relationships in the poker community will greatly enhance our upcoming ninth season.”

“I am excited about this opportunity to work with WPT as their Executive Tour Director,” said Savage. “WPT is one of the most respected and recognizable brands in poker and I am happy to be a part of its efforts to improve tournament poker for players, fans and casinos.”

Savage has appeared on more than 300 televised poker shows on Fox Sports Net, Travel Channel, GSN, ESPN, and numerous others. He was also the host of a nationally televised show called “Inside Poker” and is an actor in the Warner Brothers movie “Lucky You.” A founder of the Tournament Directors Association and recipient of the inaugural Benny Binion award for outstanding service in the poker industry, Savage has directed some of the most successful poker tournaments including WPT’s Bay 101 Shooting Star and Los Angeles Poker Classic.

8 Comments to “Matt Savage to Become Executive Tour Director of WPT”

  1. Pauly

    Cutting and pasting press releases is much safer than running with a rumorati-related post.

  2. BJ Nemeth

    Hold on a second!

    You wrote: “No word yet on how some of the notoriously worst blind structures in poker, as seen on the WPT, might change …”

    You’re operating on VERY old information. The WPT blind structures that were criticized haven’t been in use since Season VI (2007-2008). In the past few seasons, I’d put the WPT’s blind structures up against any in poker (except for the WSOP Main Event, which has two-hour blind levels).

    Any way you could correct this in the original post with a quick update? Don’t want any of your readers to get the impression that old blind structures are back in use.

  3. DanM

    Who do you think you are, BJ … Kevmath?

    I made some edits in all-caps (just for you) to avoid misleading anyone … or shall I say the perception that I’m misleading anyone?

    I honestly had forgotten about the changes you mention. (Not my fault, I’d say.) And hey, perception is reality. Not to bash on Savage’s new gig nor the WPT, but really, you can understand why many might believe things are as they long were when watching the show on TV, it’s hard to tell the difference between an episode (and blind structure) from 2006 and one from 2009.

    Bottom line on this is that blind structures is one key place where the new boss comes in with a different outlook than the old boss. And at the same time, there may be TV factors in play that he didn’t have to contend with when orchestrating live, non-televised events. You can almost bet @AllenKessler will be weighing in.

    Anyhow, I’m making no call on one way being the right way — just pointing out some things this move made me think about …

    BTW, I also believed the TDs at the various venues set the blind structures, not the WPT. Am I wrong on that?

  4. Kevin Mathers


    Would it be fair to say that while the blind levels don’t change at the final table of WPT events the past couple of seasons, that the length of levels are shortened?

  5. BJ Nemeth

    In Season VII, the structures were completely unchanged at the final table, with 90 minute levels. For Season VIII, they brought back 60-minute levels, which switch to 30-minute levels for heads-up play as long as they’ve already played a certain number of 60-minute levels. (Don’t know the formula at the moment.)

    I never heard a single player complain about the shortened blind levels last season, and it seemed like they still had plenty of room to play poker rather than just blindly shove all in.

    Not sure of the format for Season 9, but I will bet $100 it doesn’t switch back to the heavily-criticized blind levels that Dan referred to in this post.

  6. Lou Crispino

    Harrahs should pay him whatever he wants to run there poker operations company wide.They have the most popular event in poker and don’t cash in on thatwith their circuit events or their daily tourneys at individual properties.What a financial waste Harrahs has made of the WSOP brand.

  7. checkoutpoker

    Does the WPT have a TV contract for their upcoming season? I have not been able to find out any information regarding this. Thanks.

  8. Kevin Mathers

    Good question, the Paris and London events will be filmed by MatchRoom Sport to air in Europe, but if Fox Sports Net will air the upcoming season of WPT events isn’t known at this time.