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  1. The Main Event of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open starts on August 28. Although it's a US-based event that takes place in South Florida, the tournament will see a number of players buy directly in through the PokerStars client. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsson Poker, a leading global online gaming provider. Betsson Poker is available on Mobile and offers regular promotions to live events around the world along with great bonuses and competitions. Play nowfor a chance to win the a Dream Holiday with the Grand Poker Adventures throughout 2014! --- There are three starting days of the tournament (August 28, 29, and 30) and the $5,300 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event guarantees $10 million. According to PokerStars officials, "PokerStars players (.com / .eu only) wishing to DBI themselves into the event can go to 'Events' - 'More' – 'Special' and look for the tournaments listed as 'Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship Day 1A, 1B, or 1C.' While this event is unlimited re-entry, players are only allowed to enter a single Day 1 through PokerStars and they are not able to utilize the client for any re-entries." The link between PokerStars and Seminole is unclear. PokerStars has no online presence in the US market and hasn't since Black Friday. Therefore, its entire user base is located outside of the US, meaning that anyone who heads to South Florida will likely have travel costs associated with the trip. Speaking of the absence of PokerStars in the US, text on the site notes, "Real money play on PokerStars is not allowed while physically located within the United States of America under any circumstances. Players who attempt to play for real money while they are physically located in the USA will lose their playing privileges and/or funds in their account." A PokerStars representative told PocketFives on Tuesday, "We understand that there may be a number of players who will want to play both EPT Barcelona and the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event and we are happy to help them do so. We've done this because we think it will be good for players." Anyone who buys into the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event through PokerStars will get direct entry into the tournament, not cash on site. Poker Players Alliance Executive Director John Pappas was pleased with the news that Seminole and PokerStars had teamed up, telling PocketFives, "This is an industry where competition seems to get the better of everything, often to the detriment of the players. So, it is very refreshing to see cooperation between two gaming companies. It is a good development for the players and, given the size and reach of these two brands, further cooperation could be a huge development for the growth of the game." Last year's Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event drew 2,384 entrants and had a prize pool that nearly lapped $12 million. The end of the tournament was a PocketFiver versus PocketFiver showdown, as Blair blur5f6Hinkle (pictured) edged out Justin ZeeJustin Bonomo in a battle of World Series of Poker bracelet winners. If you don't have a PokerStars account, sign up through the links on PocketFives and get a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus and one free month of PocketFives Training with no signup fee. Click here to create your account. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. [caption width="640"] PokerStars has made major changes to its live tournament offering[/caption] The European Poker Tour is going global and at the same time, ceasing to exist altogether. PokerStars announced sweeping changes to its live poker offering on Wednesday that sees the EPT-experience expanding beyond European borders with a new name: PokerStars Live. Live events under the PokerStars banner now fall into one of two categories; the PokerStars Championship and the PokerStars Festival. Championship events, which will look and feel much like the EPT events have for the past few years, will include up to 100 tournaments in cities like Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Macau and Panama. The Main Event at each stop will be a €/$5,000 buy-in. Festival events will be much smaller in size and will last up to a week and will culminate in a Main Event buy-in of between $1,000-$1,500. Only two stops are confirmed so far, one on each side of the Atlantic. London, England is one confirmed stop with the other set to make American players happy as PokerStars brings its live tournament experience back to American soil with a Festival event scheduled for Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey October 31 - November 6. “We are committed to growing the poker market in New Jersey and part of this strategy is to help make New Jersey the poker hub of America in November,” said Eric Hollreiser, PokerStars’ Director of Corporate Communications. “We invite players from across the globe to pitch up in the Garden State for the best live poker experience available in the world, live and online, with the first ever NJCOOP kicking off ahead of the Festival with plenty of tournaments on offer and big prizes.” The initial schedule for PokerStars Festival New Jersey includes an $1,100 buy-in Main Event, $2,200 High Roller and a special Run It Up event featuring Jason Somerville and a number of former Survivor contestants. Along with Somerville, fellow Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Jason Mercier, Chris Moneymaker and Vanessa Selbst are also scheduled to be in Atlantic City. While the New Jersey Festival is the first event under the PokerStars Live banner, the official kick off comes in January with PokerStars Championship Bahamas, formerly the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. That event runs January 6 - 14. “We are always thinking of how to bring the best experience to players, through the variety of tournaments we sponsor, the ease of finding information, how we communicate to players and media, and the overall experience on and off the felt," said Edgar Stuchly, PokerStars’ Director of Live Events. "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." PokerStars will offer extensive online qualifying options for both Championship and Festival events including the popular Spin-N-Go qualifiers that can get players into Championship level events for as little as €10. The new tour also comes with a revamped Player of the Year system. Each Championship stop will have a standalone leaderboard that awards the winner a VIP package with accommodation and a Championship Main Event buy-in for the first Championship event the following year as well as entry into an invite-only $100,000 winner-take-all tournament. The final EPT-branded event takes place in December in Prague.
  3. [caption width="640"] The EPT wraps up its 13th season this week (Image c/o PokerStars)[/caption] It is hard to believe thirteen seasons of the European Poker Tour have passed. It is harder to believe the tour is no longer going to exist. Thankfully for the European poker scene, the newly created PokerStars Festival series will continue to deliver poker to the masses, just under a different moniker. With the EPT wrapping up its final season in Prague this week, we decided to look back at the highlights of more than a decade of tournaments in this edition of Number Crunch: 1 – Number of two-time EPT champions. It took until the tail end of Season 10 to crown the first two-time champion. Victoria Coren won EPT London in Season 3 and in seven seasons later took down EPT San Remo to become the first and, to date, only repeat winner. By contrast, the World Poker Tour had two repeat winners the first season it was on tour. 7 – Number of final tables for Luca Pagano, the all-time leader in that category of EPT stats. Pagano has not made a final table on the tour since 2012, he was one of the original big names on the EPT, final tabling the very first EPT event in Barcelona in 2005. In 2009, Pagano final tabled three EPT Main Events. He has also finished in-the-money of 21 EPT Main Events. 23 – Number of different cities which have hosted an EPT over the years. Only Barcelona has been a stop on all 13 of the seasons, while others like Loutraki were one-and-done stops. Germany is the most popular country for the tour with Baden, Dortmund, and Berlin all playing host to events. 23 - Number of Super High Roller events in EPT history. First introduced at Season 7’s PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, the tour slowly added them to the largest stops on the tour with $50,000 and $100,000 buy-in price points (the exact amounts vary slightly based on the local currency). The list of champions reads like a who’s who of the poker circuit, but Steve O’Dwyer leads the pack with three separate Super High Roller titles. 27 – Number of countries which can lay claim to an EPT Champion. They come from every continent, save Antarctica and Australia. Champs have come from surprising places like Iran and Venezuela. The most successful countries are Great Britain and the United States. Both countries have 17 EPT titles to their credit, but you might consider giving a slight edge to the States, as John Juanda is credited as Indonesian, but has lived in the States since he was 19. 76 – Number of months Ibrahim Al Mousa was sentenced to prison for his role as the mastermind behind the 2010 EPT Berlin robbery. Al Mousa and four other men stormed the tournament area of the EPT Berlin Main Event brandishing guns and machetes. Scary, yes, but thankfully no one was hurt in the altercation. Eventually the tournament staff managed to reconstruct the tournament and play down to a winner. Kevin 'ImALuckSac' MacPhee won the tournament, but admitted in interviews he would have rather they did not play it out after the crime. 216 – Number of times EPT Live host Joe Stapleton estimates he and fellow host James Hartigan have sung their popular line “Everyone loves a chop pot!” The duo have worked together for the livestream and televised episodes of the tour for six years and have a number of running gags that have won over fans from all over the world. 1,785 – Number of entries in the largest-field EPT Main Event in history. That tournament, Season 13’s EPT Barcelona Main Event, featured a €5,300 buy-in and generated a prize pool in excess of €8.6 million. A hefty €1.1 million went to eventual champ Sebastian Malec of Poland, who bested the record field to take down the last-ever EPT Barcelona Main Event. 9,314,495– Dollars won by the EPT’s number-one earner Steve O'Dwyer. The American pro is $2.5 million ahead of his next-closest competitor, Ole Schemion. It is hard to single out just one accomplishment on O’Dwyer’s extensive EPT resume, but his biggest win is probably from Season 9, where he took down the Grand Final Main Event in Monaco for over $1.6 million. He actually earned more money for defeating a smaller field in the 2015 PCA Super High Roller for over $1.8 million in 2015 though. He has won two Super High Roller events, also taking down the one in Prague in Season 12. He has also final tabled the EPT London Main Event twice. Like we said, it is tough to pick just one accomplishment for this guy. 15,132,000 – Largest single prize pool in EPT history. Thanks to a turnout of 1,560 runners in Season 7’s PCA Main Event, the tour generated the eight-figure prize pool. While other events have generated bigger fields, the $10,000 buy-in resulted in a record-breaking sum. A cool $2.3 million went to winner Galen Hall, but the top four spots all netted seven-figure paydays.
  4. [caption width="640"] PokerStars Championship and Festival events are coming to the Bahamas, Panama, Rozvadov and other locations in 2017 (Neil Stoddart / PokerStars)[/caption] When PokerStars announced changes to their long-standing European Poker Tour, Asia-Pacific Poker Tour and Latin American Poker Tour series earlier this year, shockwaves were sent through the poker community. PokerStars initially announced that in lieu of their regular stops across the globe, certain events would be categorized into “Championships” or “Festivals” with 2017 dates soon to follow. As December approaches, PokerStars has released those key dates. The always popular PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas, has been renamed the PokerStars Championship Bahamas, and will run from January 6-14. Many of the events from PCAs of the past will remain on the schedule, including the $5,000 Main Event, $25,750 High Roller and the $100,000 Super High Roller. Following PokerStars Championship Bahamas will be the two major Festival stops announced thus far. The first Festival will be in London, from January 22-29. The highlight of the London Festival is the £990 Main Event with a £2,200 High Roller preceding it. Similar to London, Rozvadov, Czech Republic will hold a high roller at the €2,200 price point with the Main Event buy-in set at €1,100. The Festival takes place March 2-13. In place of a spring LAPT stop, PokerStars Championship Panama will take place from March 10-20. This stop includes a $5,300 Main Event, $10,300 High Roller and a $50,000 Super High Roller. The PokerStars event in Panama marks the only visit to South America on the 2017 schedule. After its trip to Panama, PokerStars will head east to Macau for another Championship event from March 30-April 9. Four major events are in store for this series including a HKD 82,400 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller. The other three on the docket are the HKD 42,400 Main Event, HKD 103,000 High Roller and the HKD 400,000 Super High Roller. The last of the announced events will take place at Monte Carlo, the home of the former EPT Grand Final. This Championship series will is scheduled for April 25-May 5. Among the events set to take place includes a €5,300 Main Event, €25,750 High Roller, a €100,000 Super High Roller along with a €50,000 Single day No Limit Hold’em event. Regarding the changes for 2017 and PokerStars’ vision for the future, 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 events, helping to take our vision for live poker to a whole new level.”
  5. [caption width="640"] Jason Acosta grabbed his biggest live score after taking down the PokerStars Live Festival New Jersey (PokerStars photo / Joe Giron)[/caption] Jason Acosta qualified for the PokerStars Live Festival New Jersey Main Event on PokerStarsNJ.com not for $200, not for $109, not for $39 - but for 5,000 StarsCoins. Late Friday night in Atlantic City the 30-year-old from Little Ferry, NJ turned that small investment into a $38,220 score and the PokerStars Festival NJ title after beating out Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano heads-up. Day 3 started with 23 players and a plan to play down to a final table of eight players, but action moved quickly enough that tournament organizers gave the players the option to play it out. Peter Smyth, who also qualified via an online qualifier, was the first player officially eliminated from the final table. With nine players remaining Smyth opened to 30,000, Jovy Ounthongdy moved all in from the button for just over 100,000 an Eli Kim move all in from the big blind and Smyth called all in. Smyth tabled [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"], Ounthongdy had [poker card="6d"][poker card="6h"] but Kim was ahead of both of them with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"]. The board ran out [poker card="5c"][poker card="4h"][poker card="3d"][poker card="jh"][poker card="ah"] to to give Kim an unneeded set of aces and eliminate both Ounthongdy and Smyth at the same time with Smyth taking home eighth place money. It took just over 90 minutes for the next player to be sent packing. Matt Affleck raised to 36,000 before Rocco Dicondina moved all in for 120,000 from the button. Affleck called and tabled [poker card="qc"][poker card="9c"] while was ahead with [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"]. The [poker card="jc"][poker card="jh"][poker card="9c"] flop put Affleck ahead with a pair of nines. The [poker card="9s"] gave Affleck trips and left Dicondina hoping for a jack on the river for a chopped pot, but the [poker card="3d"] was a complete miss and Dicondina was eliminated in seventh. Just 15 minutes later, another player was eliminated. From the hijack, Sridhar Sangannagari raised to 42,000 before Gagliano made it 90,000 from the cutoff. Sangannagari moved all in for just over 170,000 total and Gagliano called. Sangannagari flipped over [poker card="qs"][poker card="jh"] and found out he was in rough shape when Gagliano tabled [poker card="kc"][poker card="kd"]. The [poker card="qd"][poker card="6d"][poker card="5c"] flop gave Sangannagari some hope and the [poker card="qh"] turn put him ahead, but the [poker card="ks"] river gave Gagliano a rivered full house to eliminate Sangannagari. Despite starting the final table with the chip lead, Affleck couldn’t out run a cold deck. Down to just seven big blinds, Affleck raised all in after Kim opened to 48,000 from UTG. Kim called with [poker card="as"][poker card="kd"] and found he had Affleck’s [poker card="ks"][poker card="qs"] dominated. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="8h"][poker card="8s"] flop left Affleck drawing nearly dead and the [poker card="4d"] on the turn made it official. The river was the [poker card="9s"] and Affleck was out in fifth. Another player who had spent time with the overall chip lead during the course of the tournament was eliminated just 15 minutes later. Action folded to Kim in the small blind and he raised enough to put David Johnston all in from the big blind if he called. Johnston called and tabled [poker card="8s"][poker card="3s"] and found himself out-pipped by Kim’s [poker card="8c"][poker card="4c"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="5s"][poker card="4d"] flop put Kim ahead. The [poker card="9s"] turn gave Johnston a flush draw but the [poker card="7c"] river was a complete brick and he was out in fourth place. Kim had been responsible for a number of Day 3 bustouts and was the big stack early on in the day, but his run ended in third place. Kim raised to 70,000 from the button with [poker card="2c"][poker card="2h"] and Gagliano re-raised to 215,000 from the small blind with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qs"]. Kim responded with a four-bet to 650,000 and Gagliano moved all in. Kim called all in. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="6c"][poker card="3d"] flop put Gagliano ahead and the [poker card="9h"] turn and [poker card="9d"] river kept him there. When heads-up play began Gagliano had 4,410,000 of the 5,025,000 chips in play with Jason Acosta sitting on the short stack. Over the course of the next two hours Acosta closed the gap and flipped the chip counts to leave Gagliano as the short stack. “He’s obviously a much more accomplished player than me, I knew I was at a huge disadvantage,” said Acosta, who plans on going back to work at his trucking company on Monday. “Once I doubled up I knew I had to double up again because he still had me like 3-1, 4-1 in chips.” Acosta did exactly that, in a hand where both players made a straight and Gagliano called with the lower straight. That hand put Acosta ahead for the first time. It took him 90 minutes to finally put away Gagliano and claim the title, his first live win. Gagliano opened all in for 900,000 and Acosta called. Gagliano tabled [poker card="6c"][poker card="6h"] and found out he was racing against Acosta’s [poker card="ah"][poker card="kh"]. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="jc"][poker card="9c"] flop gave Acosta even more outs. The [poker card="jh"] turn added even more drama and when the [poker card="9d"] fell on the river, Gagliano’s pair was counterfeited and Acosta was the last player standing. Final Table Payouts Jason Acosta - $38,220 Michael Gagliano - $28,116 Eli Kim - $20,683 David Johnston - $15,215 Matt Affleck - 11,193 Sridhar Sangannagari - $8,234 Rocco Dicondina - $6,057 Peter Smyth - $4,455
  6. [caption width="640"] Chris Moneymaker is one of the Team PokerStars Pros making their way to Atlantic City for the first ever Pokertars Festival New Jersey(PokerStars photo/Neil Stoddart)[/caption] For the last six years American poker players have watched as PokerStars-branded live events took place in countries around the world other than their own. Not since Black Friday, when the North American Poker Tour was in the midst of an event at Mohegan Sun, has PokerStars held a live event on U.S. soil. That all changes beginning Sunday. The PokerStars Festival New Jersey is the first official event under the new global PokerStars Live banner and runs for nine days at the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. With 40 events on the schedule, and the conclusion of the first ever PokerStars New Jersey Championship of Online Poker, you might think PokerStars Team Pro Chris Moneymaker was excited to get the cards in the air. You’d be wrong. “The foosball and corn hole and all that stuff. Stars is really focused on this StarsFun thing, so there’s gonna be ping pong tables, foosball tables, corn hole, a lot of side stuff. I’m just a big kid so I like doing all that stuff,” said Moneymaker, who recently finished runner-up in an NJCOOP event. To be fair, the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event champion is also looking forward to the poker. “As far as the festival goes, the first day - which I might miss, but it would be exciting for me if I could play, but I may miss it because the NJCOOP Main Event is on Sunday - they have a $600 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo tournament which I would like to play, but I probably won’t get to,” said Moneymaker. “I’m looking forward to anything with four cards and there’s (also) a $5K Eight Max that will be interesting depending on the field. If i have to go sit down and just play with Jason Mercier, Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Selbst, myself and Jason Somerville, I’ll probably pass on that, but if it gets 40 people, I’ll jump in.” The Main Event is an $1,100 buy-in event scheduled to run November 1-5, with two-starting days. Players are able to qualify online through PokerStarsNJ.com or a number of live qualifiers in the days leading up to the Main Event. Complete PokerStars Festival New Jersey Schedule “After the Main Event, I’m looking forward to playing the Run It Up events, Jason Somerville’s mixed game events,” said Moneymaker. Run It Up Day is Saturday, November 5 and consists of two live events and other events built around Somerville’s popular live stream. It’s been six years since Black Friday and the Festival will be the first taste of PokerStars Live for an entire generation of online poker players that haven’t experienced one before. Moneymaker things they’re in for a very different experience than anything else they’ve seen or done. “PokerStars just does things different. You go to a lot of tournaments and you play and that’s it. If you’ve ever played in basically any tournament here in the U.S., you show up, you play poker, you go home. That’s really what you’ve got,” said Moneymaker. “But when you come to a PokerStars event, the first night there’s a reception/cocktail party, they have the StarsFun which is going to have a room set up to where people can mingle and have fun. They’re gonna have live streams. They’re going to have Q&As with us. There’s other activities going other than just sitting down and playing poker.” The return of PokerStars to the U.S. was a big deal when it was announced and the live event is another positive step for the company that was the largest U.S-facing online poker site on Black Friday. Moneymaker is optimistic that while all of this seems like a big deal now, there’s still so much more potential should other states get on board with regulated online poker. “It’s obviously a great first step. We’ve got a long way to go. Just the fact that I’m able to play in the U.S., I don’t have to get a passport and go out of the country and all that madness. I can actually come here and stay within the borders and play,” said Moneymaker. “It’s a phenomenal thing. But we’re a long way from being where we need to be. We’re in one state right now, hopefully we’ll be in more next year but it’s a good first step.”
  7. [caption width="640"] Sacheen Ramchandani is ready to go on Day 1B of the PokerStars Championship Bahamas (PokerStars photo/Neil Stoddart)[/caption] It’s a little over 9,000 miles – or 14,000 kilometers – from Mumbai, India to the Atlantis Resort and Casino where the PokerStars Championship Bahamas is happening this week, but it’s a trip that Sacheen Ramchandani was more than happy to make. Ramchandani is one of the 250 players to have qualified for the Championship Main Event on PokerStars.com and is the only one from India. It’s a trip that didn’t almost happen, though. “One day I was just sitting in the house, doing nothing and I see a $27 tournament for the Bahamas. I think, it sounds good - I’m not going to win it but why not give it a shot? I gave it a shot and okay, made round 2,” said Ramchandani. The next step in the qualification process wasn’t for a few weeks. Ramchandani had a business trip planned in the mean time and came back thinking about almost anything but poker. “I came back from Singapore, it was a Sunday and I said to my maid I want to start a healthy life now, make me a soup and salad, I want to sleep and hit the gym in the morning. I totally forgot about the tournament. I had no idea that I had to play a tournament,” said Ramchandani. Just as he was dozing off, he remembered something about the date, but couldn’t recall if he had to play early morning the next day or late at night. So he dragged himself out of bed and launched the PokerStars client. “So I switched on the light, and it said I had to play in 3.5 hours and there goes my healthy lifestyle. So I ordered food because now I’ll be hungry - 3.5 hours plus the tourney,” said Ramchandani. A little over four hours later, Ramchandani was the last player standing, staring at a screen congratulating him on winning a trip the Bahamas. “I won the tourney. I was all excited and dying to tell somebody. But who could I tell? I couldn’t tell anybody because nobody is awake at that hour,” said Ramchandani. “So I took a picture of the “Congratulations you’ve won” screen and sent it to the poker group of mine and my family group and went to sleep. And next morning was totally different life.” Congratulatory text messages from friends and family are one thing, but Ramchandani is just thrilled to be living out a dream. The 35 year old has only been playing for six years and now finds himself rubbing elbows with some of his poker idols. “For me it’s like a fairy tale. That’s how history is made, I guess,” said Ramchandani. “I’m excited. I am nervous but I’m less nervous than I was thinking it would be. I guess it’s because I’ve watched so many videos - even when I’m on the treadmill in the gym, I’m only watching PokerStars videos. I’m on YouTube all the time because I want to improve my game.” Even though he’s got a successful career going selling luxury watches to high-end clientele, Ramchandani is hoping to turn his $27 shot into something much, much bigger – and we’re not just talking about the potential million dollar first place prize money. “Most importantly I want to be the reason why PokerStars (Live) comes to India,” said Ramchandani. “I want to be the thing that says if this guy can do it, you have millions of guys better than him, why don’t you go for it. Even if I cash, then I can make the final table, I feel like I’ve won the trophy already.”
  8. [caption width="640"] For the last seven weeks Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody has been giving fans a chance to get to know him better through his vlog (PokerStars photo)[/caption] When the PokerStars Championship Bahamas gets underway later this week you might see Jake Cody walking the hallways of the Atlantis Resort, talking to himself. While plenty of poker players walk away from a tournament muttering under their breath or yammering on to the poker gods about how a hand played out, Cody’s modus operandi is a little different. The 28 year old is doing it to share his story with a fast-growing audience through the vlog he started in late 2016. Each episode, posted on YouTube, runs between 10 and 20 minutes and is built around the Team PokerStars Pro taking viewers inside his life as a poker pro including tournament recaps, hand reviews and some of the fun stuff that happens on the road. “One day I just woke up and was like ‘Okay, I’m going to go buy a camera’. So I bought a camera, didn’t really know that much about it. I did study photography in college but that was quite a long time ago now,” said Cody, who says he spends a lot of time on YouTube watching all kinds of videos. “So I started just watching loads of training videos, and just different techniques about the whole thing; vlogging, editing, and using the camera.” “Basically for just two or three weeks I was pretty obsessed with it. I started practicing doing the vlog, then eventually I was like ‘Okay, this is going to be day one’ and that was the first one,” said Cody, who was inspired after finding fellow poker pro Andrew Neeme’s vlog one day. “It was really quite random. (Neeme) literally uploaded his first video four days before and so I got there real early, I was one of his first viewers. Obviously he’s had loads of success since, and I am just trying to do my own thing.” Over the last seven weeks of 2016 Cody released nine vlogs and the self-taught videographer-slash-editor-slash-writer admitted it’s been a process to not only learn how to do it all, but fit it into the busy schedule of a globetrotting poker pro. “For example in Prague, it took me so long to get that one out not only because there was stuff going on, but just playing in the tournaments and being at the event and trying to do all the editing at the same time was quite a lot,” said Cody. “I like to think I’m getting better at it. I’m mostly focused on the editing side of it at the moment. I’m constantly watching other people for inspiration and see what other people are doing to do my own take on them. But I do think I’m getting better, and hopefully I’ll be getting quicker so I’ll be able to get videos out quicker because I that’s the thing at the moment, I feel like I need to be uploading more.” The desire to produce more content is mainly driven by the response Cody has received to his venture into this new project. Friends, family, other poker players and poker fans on YouTube have all given plenty of love and support. Still, putting more of the personal parts of his life into his vlogs isn’t easy for Cody. The Triple Crown winner doesn’t fit the bill as one of those poker players who seeks the spotlight and media attention, but he does get recognize there is some real value in letting the world get to see more than just how he plays pocket jacks from under the gun. “I’m not really one for talking about feelings and stuff, but it does feel like a bit of self-therapy, even just talking to the camera with nobody there even if I’m not uploading it,” said Cody. “I actually found it easier to talk to the camera than I would to people, which might be weird but I guess it’s because you don’t feel like you’re being instantly judged and you can just delete it. But there’s quite a big difference to just actually putting it online when you know people are going to see it. Who knows what people are going to think?” The PokerStars Championship Bahamas will provide Cody with plenty of opportunities to showcase more than just the poker. The event, formerly known as the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, has always been the first big tournament on the calendar each year, but it’s also at a world-class resort with lots of other activities going on. That’s a big part of what Cody, who is headed ot the Bahamas for he seventh straight year, likes about the event. “I have good memories of PCA because it’s the first trip where I ever saw some of the American pros who like, in my head, they were people i couldn’t even imagine being real. I’d only ever seen them on High Stakes Poker or World Series coverage,” said Cody. “I remember seeing Mike Matusow, he flew past me on a scooter, and I was completely star struck. So that was my first experience with the American pros.” Along with finding himself rubbing elbows and seeing flops with the players he admired from TV coverage, Cody also looks back at his early years at the PCA and sees a player and a person who is quite different from the one he is now. “My very first trip I actually didn’t play the Main Event. I was the plus one of my friend who won a package and i just came over to play side events. I was one of those young kids on my laptop in the lobby,” said Cody. “That very first year we were just so anti-social, we didn’t even see sunlight we just was there playing online poker and a few side events. We were completely obsessed.” From that obsession to over $4 million in lifetime earnings, a World Series of Poker bracelet, a European Poker Tour title and a World Poker Tour title, on top of the vlog and a spot on Team PokerStars, Cody fits the bill of a poker superstar, but he doesn’t see it that way at all, and that might just be what makes his vlogs so popular with poker fans. “It’s definitely hard to put it in your head and quantify that. Especially since sometimes on the vlog they’ll say ‘oh I followed you from your PKR days’ or back in the World Series in 2011 or the EPT in England,” said Cody. ”I guess you think you don’t think you have an impression on that much until people actually say it to you. It’s kind of nice, but a bit weird too. I don’t really see myself as famous really, but it’s nice when people say they want to see you do well.”
  9. [caption width="640"] The ballroom at the Atlantis Resort and Casino in the Bahamas will be packed with poker players soon (PokerStars photo)[/caption] In just over a week the Atlantis Resort and Casino in the Bahamas will begin welcoming some of poker's best as well as a number of players hoping to strike it rich. Only this year they won't be chasing down the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure title - thanks to the rebranding of all PokerStars live events under the PokerStars Live banner, players are making their way to Atlantis to play in the first ever PokerStars Championship event. There are 92 events on the PokerStars Championship Bahamas schedule this year, but we've gone ahead and picked out five events that stand out as highlights of the schedule. Event #12: PokerStars National ChampionshipThe EPT wasn't the only tournament series that was rebranded. The Latin American Poker Tour also fell under the same umbrella and the PCA schedule included an LAPT event and that's now been replaced by a $2,200 buy-in National Championship. The event is typically one of the bigger fields on the schedule. Last year Georgios Sotiropoulos topped 850 other players to win just over $300,000. Keep in mind though, winning it means you have to late reg the Main Event at the start of Day 2. Players start with 25,000 chips and levels last 45 minutes.Event #23: PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main EventThe marquee event on the schedule each year is the Main Event. This one will hold special weight as the first ever PokerStars Championship Main Event. The $5,000 buy-in event has two starting flights, one on January 8 and another January 9. In 2016 the PCA Main Event also had a $5,000 buy-in and had 928 entries when Mike Watson beat Anthony Gregg heads-up to win $728,325. Players start with 30,000 chips and levels last 75 minutes.Event #38: Limit HOSEA good chunk of the Bahamas schedule is built around No Limit Hold'em events, so finding something to give players a break from that grind wasn't easy. The $330 buy-in Limit HOSE event on January 9 gives players an affordable option and a chance at winning a Red Spade trophy against a smaller field. It's also just a single day event. Last year Christoph Strehl topped the 42 player field to win $3,720. Players start with 10,000 chips and levels last 20 minutes.Event #67: PokerStars CupWhile the Main Event, High Roller and Super High Roller are geared towards well-bankrolled players, there is a good selection of events for the players who might be on a budget. The PokerStars Cup has four starting flights on January 12 and 13, a $440 buy-in, and allows for one entry per flight. Players start with 10,000 chips and levels last 20 minutes.Event #91: Hyper Turbo, Deep Stack, $500 Knockouts, Win the ButtonIf you're looking for a bigger buy-in event with a number of different variations in it, the $2,150 buy-in event on the final day of the Championship has almost all of it. It's a hyper turbo, levels last just 10 minutes, players are awarded $500 for every knockout they get, and just to keep it interesting, it's also a Win the Button event. Players start with 20,000 chips and levels last 10 minutes.BONUS - Events #14, 19, 25, 31: PokerStars Championship Turbo QualifierTraveling all the way to the Bahamas and not having a seat into the Main Event can be a bit of a downer for some players. So PokerStars has made it easy to get in at the last minute - and on the cheap - with four different $650 buy-in turbo qualifiers running January 7-8. Players start with 10,000 chips and levels last 15 minutes.
  10. [caption width="640"] The PokerStars Championship Bahamas had some highs and some lows (PokerStars photo/Neil Stoddart)[/caption] In August 2016 PokerStars announced a massive change to their live offering that saw all of their tour operations rebranded under the PokerStars Live name. The European Poker Tour, Latin American Poker Tour, Asia-Pacific Poker Tour and other smaller, regional tours were now PokerStars Championship or PokerStars Festival events. With all due respect to the EPT Grand Final, no PokerStars-branded event was more iconic than the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. That too was part of the re-branding project and became the first ever PokerStars Championship event. Here's what we learned over nine days of poker action in the Bahamas. 1. The Glory Days of the PCA are GoneIn the early days of the online poker boom, the PCA was a must-attend event for amateurs and pros alike. Amateurs loved the fact that they could qualify online for a tiny investment and get to go to a world-class poker tournament in an exotic locale. Pros loved that the event had so many amateur qualifiers building a soft field in what was then a $10,000 buy-in event. They also didn't hate the fact it was in the Bahamas at a time when most of America was going through its coldest period of the year. That sentiment seems to be gone now though. With only a handful of American qualifiers and just 250 overall, the field for the Main Event this year was 738 - the lowest total since 2006 when 724 showed up for the $10,000 buy-in event. That's a year-over-year drop of 20.5% and not something that is sustainable. Combine the Atlantis-fatigue with some of the changes PokerStars recently made to their live products (20% payouts being a part of that) and a jam-packed schedule (92 scheduled events over nine days) and you've got a number of possible reasons for the drop in attendance. There were whispers last year that 2017 would be the final PokerStars-branded event held at the Bahamas and the Main Event numbers, along with the lower-than-expected turnout in some of the side events, doesn't do anything to hush that chatter.2. Bryn Kenney Should Run for President of the BahamasIf the event doesn't return to the Bahamas next year, nobody will be more disappointed than Bryn Kenney. He cashed six times including a wins in a $25,000 and $50,000 High Roller event to push his lifetime earnings on the island to $5,558,151. All told he's cashed 14 times with four of those coming in the $100,000 High Roller where he's finished third twice (2011 & 2015), first (2016) and seventh (2017). 3. The pre-Black Friday American Online Players Can Still HangBefore Black Friday shut down online poker in the United States, there was a generation of American players that had cut their teeth playing online poker and were just starting to make names for themselves in the live arena. Christian Harder and Cliff Josephy, the final two players in the Championship Main Event, were two players who were part of that group. Josephy was famously ranked #1 on PocketFives for 74 weeks at one point and Harder made it as high as #14. It's something that other players who came up at the same time have noticed: 4. The Poker Shot Clock is Going to Become a ThingOver the last few years a number of players have made it known that one of the issues facing the game today is other players taking too long to play a hand. In their eyes, the “tanking epidemic” has made the game unplayable to some and the solution put forth has been a shot clock. Last April, at the Tournament of Champions, the World Poker Tour introduced the Action Clock, a device that sat on the table and allowed the dealer to give each player a pre-set amount of time to act on each decision. Players were then given additional time buttons they could use to extend their time. One of the most vocal on this issue has been Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu. After Negreanu and a few other high stakes regulars, asked PokerStars Department Head of Live Poker Operations Neil Johnson and his staff to at least consider experimenting with a shot clock in the Bahamas, Johnson agreed and, despite having no real technology to work with, made it happen. While it was just one event of the 90+ events on the schedule, it indicated that if the technology can be made affordably and easy to use, the likelihood that more events have a shot clock in the near future is pretty high.
  11. [caption width="320" align="alignleft"] Wayne Gerichten is heading to the Bahamas for the PokerStars Live Championship after winning a PokerStarsNJ freeroll.[/caption]With just two tables of players left in the PokerStars Festival Atlantic City Main Event in November, Wayne Gerichten was laughing, joking and having the time of his life. Having won his way into the $1,100 buy-in event on a freeroll on PokerStarsNJ.com, Gerichten was a little bit more relaxed than some of the others. Just two years earlier he was diagnosed with liver disease and was told it was pretty far advanced. The 63-year-old has endured radiation treatments - more than 100 of them - and was left unable to continue working as a painter in South New Jersey, something he'd done for 20 years. Gerichten turned to online poker. "I got into it mainly because when they diagnosed me two years ago I thought ‘Oh my god, I don’t have any more to leave my son'. I don’t want to leave him broke, I want him to have some funds here," said Gerichten. "I play every day. I don’t work very much anymore. I had undergone a lot of radiation treatment for liver disease and it fatigued me so much that I wasn’t able to work too much so I was sitting home and I figured what better way to make some extra money than playing online?" Gerichten focuses almost all of his time on playing smaller buy-in online tournaments, including the freeroll that got him into the Festival event in Atlantic City. "I don’t play a whole lot of live tournaments, but I had qualified for the Festival in Resorts in Atlantic City. I went down to that and I thought that was the highlight of my career, playing with some of the pros like Chris Moneymaker, Jason Mercier, Vanessa Selbst," said Gerichten. "I went down there thinking I was only going to be there one day, booked a room for one night and ended up staying for five days." Over the course of those five days, Gerichten outlasted 190 other before eventually busting in 18th place and walking away with $2,331. Each day his son, Wayne Jr., took an hour-long bus ride each way back and forth to Toms River, NJ so he could work at the pool hall he runs but be there to sweat his dad. One night they stayed up late scouting one of his opponents. "We saw the list the night before of where I was going to be sitting the next day and saw that Barry Greenstein was going to be at my table and I thought ‘oh boy here we go’. We sat up for five hours watching videos of Barry," said Gerichten. " I said ‘I want to see his style of play’. I’ve watched him many times on TV but never that close and I wanted to see his strategy, how he played, so we sat up until 5 o’clock in the morning watching videos of Barry Greenstein." The research paid off as Gerichten was the one to actually eliminate Greenstein from the tournament when his pocket kings held up against Greenstein's pocket tens in an all in preflop confrontation. It just so happens that Greenstein is one of Gerichten's favorite players and having the chance to play with him gave him an up-close look at what makes him successful. "He’s such a great guy, he’s so quiet. I love his style of play. He’s quiet but aggressive, he knows when to make the moves," said Gerichten. "It was great playing with him, it was exciting for me I wasn’t nervous in the least." Gerichten is going to have another shot at Greenstein, and maybe up to 1,000 other players, starting January 8 when he takes his seat in the PokerStars Live Championship Bahamas Main Event. And once again, Gerichten really has nothing to lose after winning his way into the $5,300 buy-in event on a PokerStarsNJ.com freeroll in November. "It was a freeroll with 518 players and you had to be first - second place got $100, first place got the $11,000 package," said Gerichten of the freeroll that happened just a few days after he got back to his Toms River house after wrapping up his PokerStars Live Festival run. "Scared money doesn’t win. It’s only first place - I didn’t want to take second place. I haven’t had a vacation in years, I needed to get the hell out there and enjoy the vacation and the tournament." The trip to the Bahamas comes at a time when Gerichten's health is vastly improved, thanks largely to a dramatic change in his lifestyle. "(It's) pretty much in remission now. It came about because I had a skin cancer, so I was being treated for that and they found out through blood tests that I had liver disease," said Gerichten. "I’ve been fine for the last year without any symptoms, any progression whatsoever, even though they said it was an advanced stage. I’ve changed my eating habits, the way I do things and I haven’t seen any real problems with that anymore." In the span of just about two months, Gerichten won the PokerStars Live Festival Atlantic City freeroll, finished 18th in the event, won the PokerStars Live Championship Bahamas Main Event seat freeroll and a $120 event at Borgata in Atlantic City on his birthday. "It’s just been so much happening in the last six weeks poker-wise that it’s got me so psyched up to play more and more and more poker," said Gerichten. "I just wish I could afford to play higher stakes, but hopefully I’ll do well in this Bahamas tournament and I’ll the money to back me for higher stakes tournaments."
  12. [caption width="680"] Sebastian Sorensson entered PSC Barcelona on a 0 satellite and turned that into over ,000,000.[/caption] The PokerStars Championship season continued at the familiar stomping grounds of Barcelona, home to many former European Poker Tour titles. The always massive and talented field played down to a final table over the course of nearly a week of play and was headlined by PokerStars Team Pro Andre Akkari along with PSC Monte Carlo Main Event champion Raffaele Sorrentino. As is the case many times in poker though, any player can win and that is what occurred as PokerStars online qualifier Sebastian Sorensson topped the field of 1,682 to win the title. It would be 21 hands before the first player hit the rail and that dubious honor went to Usman Siddique. Akkari opened to 550,000 with [poker card="js"][poker card="8s"] and Siddique shoved for 5,125,000 in the cutoff with [poker card="6h"][poker card="6d"]. Brian Kaufman reshoved for slightly more holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="kc"] and Akkari dumped his hand. The [poker card="tc"][poker card="4h"][poker card="4d"][poker card="kd"][poker card="qd"] board paired Kaufman’s king and Siddique was eliminated. Almost 80 hands later, it was Akkari’s turn to depart. Lachezar Petkov shoved the small blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="9s"] and Akkari called for his last 15 blinds with [poker card="4d"][poker card="4h"]. The [poker card="6c"][poker card="6h"][poker card="5s"] flop put counterfeit outs in play and the [poker card="qs"] turn added to Petkov’s possibilities. The [poker card="5c"] river made Petkov’s ace-high the best hand and Akkari left the final table stage in fifth place. Shortly after Akkari busted, Kaufman followed him out the door. Kaufman moved all-in for 4,700,000 with [poker card="kh"][poker card="qh"] and Sorensson called for most of his stack with [poker card="ah"][poker card="qs"]. Sorensson survived the [poker card="js"][poker card="4h"][poker card="2s"][poker card="5h"][poker card="ts"] runout and locked up the elimination. The final three players started negotiations following Kaufman’s elimination and did a save for the remaining €100,000 in prize money. In Hand 118, Sorensson raised to 3,900,000 with [poker card="3d"][poker card="3h"] in the small blind with the blinds at 400,000/800,000, and Sorrentino moved all in with two over cards [poker card="ah"][poker card="qd"]. Sorensson called and held through the [poker card="6c"][poker card="6d"][poker card="2h"][poker card="7d"][poker card="jh"] board to secure the hand and bring a large advantage into heads up play. With the blinds at 800,000/1,600,000, Petkov shoved with [poker card="kc"][poker card="9h"] and Sorensson called with [poker card="ac"][poker card="kh"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2d"] flop locked up the hand for Sorensson and he claimed the title along with €987,043 for first place. Final Table Payouts Sebastian Sorensson - €987,043* Lachezar Plamenov Petkov - €917,347* Raffaele Sorrentino - €850,110* Brian Kaufman Esposito - €402,000 Andre Akkari - €317,960 Usman Siddique - €252,000 *Denotes three-way deal
  13. [caption width="640"] PokerStars is sticking around the Bahamas but bringing back the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure name.[/caption] This time last year PokerStars that the European Poker Tour was dead and all live tournaments run by the online poker giant would be branded as PokerStars Live. That meant the end of the flagship live event, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure - at least in name. When January rolled around and players headed to the Bahamas for the flagship PokerStars live event, it was the PokerStars Championship Bahamas - not the much beloved PCA. On Thursday the company announced they've changed their mind and are bringing the PCA back for 2018 as a result of player feedback. "This feedback included suggestions that we restore the PCA name and improve the quality of that event to reflect the great heritage and unique experience that made PCA one of the most-anticipated poker events of the year," said Eric Hollreiser, Director of Corporate Communications at PokerStars. "We're restoring the name and reinvigorating the event to ensure it remains a premiere poker festival." The name isn't the only thing changing back though. As it has since 2005, the 2018 PCA will run at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas from January 6 - 14 but PokerStars has also gone back in time and made the buy-in $10,300. For the last two years the buy-in was dropped to $5,300. Despite raising the buy-in for the Main Event, PokerStars intends on increasing the number of online qualifiers sent to the event and the ways in which they can qualify. "We will also increase the promotions around PCA in order to bring even more people and make qualifying for packages as exciting as we can. We are committed to sending at least 400 players to this must-play event," said Hollreiser. A full slate of qualifying options will be available on PokerStars.com following the conclusion of the 2017 World Championship of Online Poker in late September. They've also announced a much lower rake structure that impacts nearly every event. The rake for every event with a buy-in of $10,000 or more is now capped at $300. This move should be music to the ears of high roller regulars. In 2017, the $100,000 Super High Roller had a rake of $2,000. Tournaments with levels that are less than 20 minutes long will also have their rake cut in half. PokerStars estimates this will mean a $300,000 reduction in rake. The schedule will also be more streamlined. The 2017 festival included 75 events over nine days. While the 2018 PCA schedule hasn't been finalized yet, the company has promised a significant drop in event with "more than 30" events promised. Other announced changes for the 2018 PCA include: $50,000 player's freeroll improvements to food and beverage options PCA player party the return of the $200 swag bag
  14. [caption width="640"] PokerStars' PCA Ultra Satellite guarantees an 100 online qualifiers[/caption] Even before Christian Harder hoisted the 2017 PokerStars Championship Bahamas trophy, officials at the worldwide leader in online poker, PokerStars, knew that in 2018 they would need to make changes. Registration for the newly re-branded tournament was the lowest it had been in a decade and so in order to get back on track, the company turned to its customers in an effort to polish up the premiere poker getaway formerly known as the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. In August, PokerStars announced a number of changes to the crown jewel of their live event calendar, including restoring the brand back to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Along with reverting the name of the event they also rolled back the buy-in for their Main Event from $5,300 to its long-standing traditional $10,300 buy-in, assuring a gigantic prize pool for those who make the trip. Another promised improvement for 2018 - more online qualifiers. PokerStars is determined to pack the Atlantis Resort, the longtime host to the PCA, with players who won their way into the Main Event by capturing a coveted all-inclusive package through the PCA Ultra Satellites. The PCA Ultra Satellites are guaranteeing at least 100 players a $15,855 prize that includes everything one would need to bask in all of the sun, surf and suckouts the Bahamas has to offer. The next 100-seat, $1.5 million guaranteed $530 Ultra Satellite takes place at 14:35 ET on November 5 on PokerStars. In addition to being able to buy directly into the tournament players can win their way into the big event for as little as $1 and in almost every game PokerStars has to offer. From dedicated on-demand Spin & Go’s to multi-table-tournaments to cash game challenges, PokerStars is allowing you to pick your ownRoad To The Bahamas path and entry into the $530 Ultra Satellite. Winners of the package will receive a buy-in to the $10,300 Main Event, nine nights accommodation for two at the Atlantis Resort (from January 6-15), $1,000 room credit that can be applied to purchase food and drink during the festival and an additional $1,000 deposited directly into players’ PokerStars account to assist towards travel expenses. Just note, with players from all over the world qualifying for the trip, travel arrangements are not handled by PokerStars but by the players themselves. PokerStars’ Director of Corporate Communications, Eric Hollreiser had previously commented that they are “committed to sending at least 400 players to this must-play event.” By all accounts, they are working hard at it. Not only is PokerStars offering the PCA Qualifier packages in New Jersey for the first time, but the site also covered more than a half a million dollars in overlay in the previous PCA Ultra Satellite, which resulted in approximately 36 free trips to the Bahamas. With more qualifiers, a promised rake reduction (one that is calculated to save players approximately $300,000) and a more streamlined schedule of events PokerStars seems resolved to make the new and improved PCA a poker getaway more desirable than ever before. The PokerStars.com $530 PCA Ultra Satellite takes place on November 5 at 14:35 ET with 100-seats guaranteed to be given away.
  15. PokerStars has announced a bevy of live events for 2020, including three European Poker Tour stops and plenty of opportunities to win a Platinum Pass to compete in the PokerStars Players Championship. Here's a look at what PokerStars has on offer in 2020 for live events. Red Dragon Manila: January 4-11 Road To PSPC Barcelona (Spain): January 13-19 Road To PSPC La Havre (France): January 15-19 BSOP Brasilia: January 30-February 4 Road To PSPC St Amand (France): February: 11-16 Road To PSPC Valencia (Spain): March 2-8 Okada Manila Millions: March 9-15 Road To PSPC La Grand Motte (France): March 10-15 BSOP Sao Paulo: March 19-24 EPT Sochi: March 20-29 Road To PSPC Madrid Gran Via (Spain): March 31-April 5 EPT Monte Carlo: April 23-May 2 Manila MegaStack 14: May 22-31 Road To PSPC Cannes (France): June 10-14 Road To PSPC Madrid Torreldones (Spain): July 1-5 Manila Super Series 14: July 6-12 APPT Manila 2020: July 31-August 9 EPT Barcelona: August 12-30 Manila Super Series 15: September: 22-28 Manila MegaStack Challenge: December 6-13 [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker"][ptable zone="PokerStars NJ"] The European Poker Tour plans to head to Sochi, Monte Carlo, and Barcelona in 2020. Sochi is the first stop of the three, scheduled for March 20-29. Monte Carlo is slotted to take place April 23-May 2, and then Barcelona, which includes the highly anticipated PSPC event, is slated for August 12-30. EPT Sochi: March 20-29 EPT Sochi takes place at Casino Sochi in Russia. This stop has 25 events on the schedule, including the EPT Sochi Main Event running March 24-29. The EPT Sochi Main Event has a buy-in of RUB 175,000 (approx. €2,500 or $2,850) and a prize pool guarantee of RUB 122.5 million (approx. €1.8 million or $2 million). The 2019 EPT Sochi Main Event was won by Israel's Uri Gilboa. He topped a field of 758 entries to win RUB 27.475 million (approx. $412,000). The biggest buy-in on the EPT Sochi schedule is the RUB 371,000 (approx. €5,500 or $6,050) High Roller that is scheduled for March 27-29. EPT Monte Carlo: April 23-May 2 EPT Monte Carlo comes to us from Sporting Monte-Carlo in Monaco. The full schedule was not yet released at time of writing, but we do know dates for the French National Championship, Super High Roller, and EPT Monte Carlo Main Event. The French National Championship has a buy-in of €1,100 and takes place April 24-27. The Super High Roller has a buy-in of €100,000 and runs April 25-27. The EPT Monte Carlo Main Event has a buy-in of €5,300 and runs April 27-May 2. In 2019, it was Manig Loeser topping the field in the EPT Monte Carlo Main Event. He finished in first place from 922 entries to win the event's €603,777 first-place prize. Stefano Schiano won the French National Championship for €209,000, and Sergio Aido won the €100,000 Super High Roller for €1.589 million. EPT Barcelona: August 12-30 Taking place at Casino Barcelona in Spain in August is EPT Barcelona. This is always a very popular festival with a ton of events on offer. Although the full schedule was yet to be released at time or writing, we do have the dates for a few of the biggest and best tournaments on the EPT Barcelona schedule. The EPT Barcelona National Event runs August 13-17 and has a buy-in of €1,100. The Super High Roller runs August 17-19 with a buy-in of €100,000. The PSPC takes place August 20-24 and has a buy-in of €22,500. The EPT Barcelona Main Event has a buy-in of €5,300 and runs August 24-30. Last year's EPT Barcelona Main Event proved the largest EPT Main Event ever, attracting 1,988 entries. Sweden's Simon Brandstrom won the event for what was €1.29 million after a heads-up deal was made. The 2019 EPT Barcelona National Event was won by Markku 'markovitsus' Koplimaa, winner of the PocketFives July 2019 PLB title. He topped the field of 4,682 entries to win the event for €585,500. In the €100,000 Super High Roller, Sergi Reixach was victorious for €1.816 million. PokerStars Stops in Asia and Brazil PokerStars announced seven stops in Asia. The Red Dragon Manila runs January 4-11 and has PHP 60 million (approx. $1.2 million) in total guarantees. APPT Manila runs July 31-August 9 and features PHP 28 million (approx. $550,000) in total guarantees. In Brazil, there is a Brazilian Series of Poker event in Brasilia from January 30-February 4, and then there is another BSOP event in Sao Paulo from March 19-24. Road To PSPC Events Everyone wants to go and compete in the PSPC, right? With PokerStars' Road To PSPC events, players can win their way. Road To PSPC events have stops in France and Spain in 2020, with four stops in each country. In France, the Road To PSPC will be in La Havre from January 15-19, in St. Amand from February 11-16, in La Grande-Motte from March 10-15, and in Cannes from June 10-14. In Spain, the Road To PSPC is headed to Barcelona from January 13-19, Valencia from March 2-8, Madrid Gran Via from March 31-April 5, and in Madrid Torreldones from Jule 1-5.

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