PokerStars Announce Their 2017 Tour Dates2 years ago
When PokerStars announced they were to ‘retire’ their various tours and live commitments a few months ago, claiming their newly-designed Championship events “will take place in major cities, organised by the most prestigious casinos across the globe, and designed to deliver the best poker experience on the planet for players of all levels,” there was a general feeling that an era was at an end and the future uncertain.
This week, however, PokerStars announced the first half of their new 2017 schedule and their promises look set to be fulfilled, with PokerStars Festivals taking place in the Caribbean, London, Rozvadov, Panama, Macau and Monte Carlo, with several more to be announced.
A new Caribbean Adventure
The Bahamas will open the year’s activities, the PCA Caribbean Adventure being renamed and reshaped as the PokerStars Championship Bahamas, running from January 6 to 14 and expected to attract a massive field as ever.
Mixing the big events with a smaller ‘Festival’ series, the next stop will be in London, where the Hippodrome Casino will host the first PokerStars Festival of 2017.
The capital's premier poker destination in the heart of London's West End boasts an eight-day schedule of 22 events from January 22-29, including the flagship £400,000 guaranteed, £990 Main Event.
Announcing the dates of the newly-designed series of events, PokerStars' Director of Live Events, Edgar Stuchly, said:
"PokerStars has an incredibly rich live events heritage, having hosted more than 560 tournament series, attracted more than 800,000 entries and awarded more than $1.5 billion in prize money.”
"The PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival events are an enhancement of the existing PokerStars sponsored live tours, helping to take our vision for live poker to a whole new level."
Czech it Out
Europe’s biggest cardroom will take centre-stage in March when the tour descends on the King’s Casino in Rozvadov from March 2-13, with 30 events across 12 days and a schedule which will include the new format Super Deep stack re-entry event and the €500,000 guaranteed Main Event.
Having just hosted the WSOP Circuit and bagging a massive deal for the WSOP Europe, King’s Casino is fast becoming the epicentre of live poker in Europe, huge expansion plans likely to make it even more attractive in the coming year.
The Tailor from Panama
The ‘vibrant metropolis’ of Panama City sees the start of a massive 56 events running from March 10-20 when the second of PokerStars Championship stops hits the Sortis Hotel & Casino.
Guaranteed to be ‘ one of the most exciting stops of the PokerStars Championship's maiden season’, Panama will see tailored buy-ins ranging from $220 for the inaugural PokerStars Open all the way up to $50,000 for the Super High Roller, with a slew of events in-between.
The Main Event, a traditional $5300 NLHE tournament, runs from March 14-20 and will doubtless attract a great field for the Latin America stop.
PokerStars know the appeal and have decided to stage their 3rd Championship of the year in Macau’s premier entertainment hub, the City of Dreams, for an 11-day festival running from March 30 - April 9. Again a wide array of events are lined up, offering players of all levels a chance to take down a title in the Vegas of the East.
The Full Monte
Springtime in Paris may be the song, but poker players would much rather be several hundred km south in the gambling Mecca of Monte Carlo – and that’s where the 4th PokerStars Championship will be from April 25 - May 5.
The ‘glamorous’ Monte Carlo Bay Casino Hotel & Resort will witness 11 days of action on the felt, and as befits one of the most historically important poker destinations in Europe, the €100,000 buy-in Super High Roller is about as close to a James Bond movie as you’re likely to get!
Again there are PS Open and Cup competitions with relatively small buy-ins ( €220 and €440) so mortals can also indulge in the Monte Carlo lifestyle without breaking the bank completely!
So, the first half of the new PokerStars season is sorted – and it’s pretty impressive on the face of it. Whether it will really replace the full extent of their previous offerings remains to be seen (particularly the EPT/UKIPT events which will be sorely missed, by me at least), but it will doubtless be a sensational tour in its own right.
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