ClubWPT Qualifier Philip Aleman Celebrates Birthday Before WPT World Championship

The World Poker Tour (WPT) Season 20 culminates at Wynn Las Vegas with its $10,400 buy-in, $15 million GTD WPT World Championship from December 12-20.

A tournament of this size with a $15 million dollar guarantee will attract its fair share of high-profile poker players, and will also be a televised event. Its field will also be filled with satellite winners and qualifiers as the Wynn, WPT, and ClubWPT have all been running special promotions awarding passports and entries into the championship tournament.

ClubWPT awarded its final qualifier a passport into the championship on November 13th. The winner of each satellite won a $12,000 Passport to the WPT World Championship. The passport included the tournament buy-in, as well as a hotel and travel stipend.

Click here to see a list of qualifier and satellite opportunities!

WPT World Championship

How Philip Aleman Became Hooked on Hold’em

On July 10, 27-year-old Philip Aleman became the seventh player to punch their ticket to the WPT World Championship via ClubWPT.

Aleman, who turned 28 on December 4, hails from Staten Island, New York, and picked up poker during the lockdowns of the 2020 COVID pandemic. Along with a group of friends, he participated in a weekly home game and became hooked on no-limit hold’em.

“I always like gambling, and once I realized if you play well you have an edge in NLH I decided this was my new game of choice,” he said.

While Aleman is often busy with work, he still tries to find opportunities to play poker.

Philip Aleman
Philip Aleman

“I dropped out of college, School was never for me,” he told PokerNews. “I’m an entrepreneur, I own a few businesses. I’m in the merchant cash advance space. I own a merchant cash advance brokerage shop called Springville Partners, and a merchant cash advance funding company as well.”

Having watched WPT final tables online, Aleman made it a goal to try and satellite into one of the Main Events via ClubWPT, a goal he’s now accomplished.

“I’ve cashed in a few tournaments on ClubWPT, but nothing big,” he said. “Winning the $12,000 passport is definitely the best prize I’ve won so far.”

Like many others qualifiers, Aleman has never been to a WPT event, though he has been to Vegas. In fact, he goes every year with his father, who will be joining him at Wynn to sweat his tournament journey.

“I go to Las Vegas every year, it’s one of my favorite places to play. I’ve been going to Vegas long before I discovered NLH, but now that I play poker I like Vegas even more. I love the shows, the food, and the atmosphere. I have played in a few live events, but nothing like this game. I went to the WSOP Circuit event in Aruba this year and cashed in two of the smaller events. I played in a few other tournaments this year too, but much lower stakes than this event.”

When asked if there are any pros he’s excited to meet, Aleman gave a surprising answer.

“I’m more excited about getting to play against pros. I’m a very competitive person. I’m looking forward to playing with the best talent, and testing my skills.”

Learn More About the Subscription-Based ClubWPT here!

ClubWPT Qualifiers Thus Far for WPT Wynn

Date Qualifier Player City State
5/14/2022 Drew Rautenberg Medfield MA
5/28/2022 Bruce Ramoth Selawik AK
5/29/2022 Quran Cruse West Hartford CT
6/5/2022 William Hays Jackson TN
6/12/2022 Anthony Greene Penfield NY
6/19/2022 Michael Ensey II Gun Barrel TX
7/3/2022 Jason Kilby Wakeman OH
7/10/2022 Philip Aleman Staten Island NY
7/10/2022 Kurt Carlson Golden CO
7/17/2022 Ronald “Tigar” Penepent Cleveland TN
7/24/2022 Sepideh Moghaddam Bellaire TX
8/7/2022 Joseph Giannone Citrus Heights CA
8/14/2022 Dan Lincoln West Bridgewater MA
8/28/2022 William Haines Superior CO
8/28/2022 Albert Cohen Mount Dora FL
9/4/2022 Richard Jaros North Anson ME
9/11/2022 Mike Robinson Lone Star TX
9/18/2022 Timothy Robins Lincoln NE
9/25/2022 Stacey Breslin Lakemoor IL
10/2/2022 Jerry Tucker Florence KY
10/9/2022 Charles Ralston Hot Springs AR
10/16/2022 Joseph DiTommaso Concord NH
10/23/2022 Bob Bacon Overgaard AZ
10/30/2022 Richard Hill Paso Robles CA
10/31/2022 Mark Symons Byron Center MI
11/6/2022 Steve Hohn Fort Worth TX
11/13/2022 Peter Espitia Los Angeles CA

Did You Know the World Poker Tour is Online?


The launch of WPT Global means that poker players around the world now have the chance to win their way to WPT events, win prizes and enjoy exciting games such as Poker Flips. As one of the world’s largest cash game poker networks, WPT Global is available in over 50 countries and territories around the world.

WPT Global offers a large deposit match bonus: 100% on deposits up to $1,200 (using any payment method). New players depositing a minimum of $20 automatically receive this match bonus which is unlocked in $5 increments (credited straight to the cashier) for every $20 of rake contribution.

Both tournaments and cash games count towards bonus unlocking; new players have 90 days from the date of first deposit to unlock and claim their full bonus amount.

Listen to more about the WPT World Championship on the new PokerNews Podcast!

*Images courtesy of Philip Aleman.

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Chad Holloway

Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

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