Matt Savage Interview Ahead of WPT Voyage: Poker, Golf & More

matt savage wpt voyage

4 minutes

Last Updated: March 4, 2024

The WPT Voyage event is still a few weeks away, but the hype is already real for everything this unique tournament festival brings. On top of the exciting poker action and big guarantees, players and their friends will get to enjoy loads of extracurricular activities.

One of these is a golf tournament hosted by Matt Savage, the Executive Tour Director for the WPT.

We were able to catch up with Matt to tell us more about what players can expect from the whole Voyage experience and why this is one poker trip you should consider.

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Q: Hi Matt, great to have you with us again. We last talked ahead of the WPT World Championship event, and you were excited about the prospects of the largest-ever poker tournament and what it meant for poker.

The WPT Voyage is obviously a completely different experience, so in your own words, what are some of the biggest reasons to come on board for this one?

Matt: There are tons of reasons to book the WPT Voyage. It’s primed to be one of the best poker cruises we’ve ever seen, which is mainly due to the fact we’ll be sailing on Virgin Voyages.

Virgin is one of the newest and most popular brands in the industry. With their world-class cruising experience and our poker festival experience combined, there will be something for everyone on board, and more.

Q: This is probably not your first time directing an event on a cruise ship. From a technical point of view, are there some difficulties that you and others on the team have to overcome that aren’t there when the event takes place “on land?”

Matt: Normally, setting up on a cruise ship would present some difficulties when it comes to space and logistics.

However, since Virgin Voyages has granted us the entire ship to set up how we’d like, we will have plenty of space with more than 80 tables across five different areas. Virgin Voyages also has a cashless system for buy-ins that adds efficiency and ease for players and staff.

Q: Alright, so about the golf tournament – I don’t know much about the sport, but I do know that it’s quite popular with poker players. Can you tell us more about it? Who can participate, and if you think there’d be some prop bets going on? I’m sure Ivey won’t say no to some side action?

Matt: It is actually a combination golf and poker tournament, which will be held at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club while we are docked in Grand Cayman.

The buy-in for everything is $1,000 and the invitational is limited to 40 people so players should sign up fast to lock in a spot. All of the finer details and booking can be found on wptvoyage.com/golf.

Golf is a great sport for prop betting and side action. We’ll have to see what happens when we get out to the beautiful course.

Q: As someone with huge experience running poker tournaments, how do you think this setup influences players and their mood? I feel like busting out would hurt less on a cruise ship where there is always something fun going on as opposed to your traditional “walk of shame” down the casino floor and into the parking lot.

Matt: That is a good point. WPT Voyage will certainly be focusing on the fun and festivities that will be offered all around.

If a player does bust out of one of the 20 tournaments on the schedule, they can shake it off with some delicious cuisine on the ship, maybe take a dip in the topdeck pool, or have a beach day if we happen to be docked.

Like I mentioned before, there is something for everyone, including non-poker players.

Q: You’re obviously one of the key people onboard that ship, at least as far as poker happenings are concerned, but will it all just work, or will you have some time to enjoy the trip as well? The Voyage will be visiting some amazing places, so you’ll hopefully have some time to enjoy them?

Matt: We will have a great group of tournament staff on board, a lot of the crew are members of the WPT at Sea room that has been running on Virgin Voyages since April of last year.

I will certainly have some time to enjoy the trip and explore Grand Cayman and Bimini, Bahamas. I will be accompanied by my beautiful wife, Maryann

Q: One final question – which one do you prefer, all things considered – traditional, at-the-casino tournaments, or the ones that are outside the box, like the WPT Voyage?

Matt: I love the outside the box tournaments like this especially when in unique locations. Putting the “world” in the World Poker Tour is super important to me!

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