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With the announcement that after 16 years PokerStars is putting an end to the long-standing PCA, there’s now room for new festivals to pick up where the PCA left off. Since before Black Friday, the PCA was a cornerstone of the poker calendar with players planning on grinding tournaments in the Bahamas at the beginning of the year. January belonged to the PCA. Now, without it, players are beginning to see that there are other options emerging on how to escape their winter situations and pick up a score that could set them up until the World Series of Poker. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="PokerStars NJ"] [ptable zone="GG Poker"] Here are a few of the festivals taking place this January that could fill the void left by the PCA. Aussie Millions Of course, the Aussie Millions is another poker calendar mainstay and it’s been a popular one for years. The difference in 2020 is that players may be more inclined to make the trip to the Crown Melbourne than in years past. Players who were wrapping up in the Bahamas and wanting to make their way to Melbourne were facing a flight time of no less than 19 hours. With connections in Miami and stops in the West Coast of the U.S., it could take well over a full day of travel before dealing with the extreme jetlag. However, other than the travel, by all accounts, the Aussie Millions has everything. A premier poker room with nearly 100 tables of action, a full slate of tournaments including high rollers to attract the best players in the world, and it’s located in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. In January, Australia is in peak summer and those looking for things to do outside of the poker room will have no shortage of options including the start of the Australian Open. This year the Aussie Millions takes place from January 4-24 with the $10,600 Main Event kicking off on January 17. MILLIONS UK The newest addition to January’s poker calendar is partypoker’s MILLIONS UK which boasts a $10,300 Main Event with a $5 million guarantee. Taking place from January 4-12 at Rob Yong’s Dusk Till Dawn card room in Nottingham, MILLIONS UK is a succinct set of tournaments with an eye at attracting the high rollers. In addition to the Main Event, the series has a $25,500 Super High Roller and a $10,300 High Roller both of which come with a $1 million guarantee. Additionally, there is the $1,100 MILLIONS Open. The tournament a $1M guarantee and also promises 20 seats to the $10K Main Event. Players can play the opening flight of the MILLIONS Open online as well as find satellites to the Main Event online. World Poker Tour Gardens Poker Championship The World Poker Tour is keeping it close to home as they bring back their Gardens Poker Championship from January 9-13 at the Gardens Casino in Hawaiian Gardens, CA (just outside of L.A.). The tournament is the first of the televised event of the current WPT season where the final table will be put on pause and moved to the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor in Las Vegas. The $10,000 buy-in assures that even with a modest turnout, the first-place prize will be a hefty six-figure sum. With the PCA out of the picture, it could be a good sign for the WPT as players from L.A., Las Vegas and even the East Coast may opt to spend their allotted PCA budget on a trip to So. Cal and take a shot at a WPT title. Lucky Hearts Poker Open Florida is another premiere warm-weather destination in January and the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, FL has been bringing players to their sun-soaked Lucky Hearts Poker Open festival since 2012. In 2020, the LHPO runs from January 9-21 and features a $1,000 World Poker Tour DeepStacks Main Event that begins on January 9 with a $1,000,000 guarantee. While the full 2020 schedule is still pending, players can expect more of the same from the LHPO. Traditionally the festival features modest price buy-in tournaments and more than your standard No Limit Hold’em spread as mixed games are sprinkled throughout the schedule. More To Come…? These are just four of options for players at the start of the year, but is there something else yet to be announced? Will PokerStars jump back into the frey? On a recent episode of DAT Poker Podcast, former PokerStars ambassador Daniel Negreanu hinted that there may be something new announced on the horizon. Speaking about the demise of the PCA Negreanu said, “I do believe that something will replace, how do I say this all cryptic…I think there will be something that we see in that time slot in January that will offer players something to play.”
Anton Suarez usually makes his living playing cash games live or online. For the last five days, however, the Swedish poker pro has been unable to do so as he splashed around on the tournament side. He'll be able to get back to his day job on Monday, however, and he'll have an extra $1,000,000 to work with after beating out the 529 other players to win the partypoker MILLIONS UK Main Event. While 12 players returned for the final day, the final table actually started eight-handed after Alex Lindop busted in 10th and Jamie O'Connor went out in ninth on the same hand. Maria Lampropulos, who won the inaugural partypoker MILLIONS at Dusk Till Dawn in 2017, started the final table as the short stack and managed to last just 30 minutes. From the cutoff, Jack Hardcastle raised to 3,500,000 with [poker card="9d"][poker card="9s"] before Lampropulos moved all-in for 19,100,000 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qc"] and Hardcastle called. The board ran out [poker card="jh"][poker card="td"][poker card="3d"][poker card="3h"][poker card="6d"] to give Lampropulos a short sweat before eliminating her in eighth place. Hardcastle's stay only lasted another 45 minutes. From UTG+1 the young Brit raised to 4,500,000 with [poker card="kd"][poker card="td"]. Action folded to Christian Rudolph in the cutoff and he re-raised to 11,000,000 with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qh"]. Hardcastle called to send both players to a [poker card="jd"][poker card="9h"][poker card="3d"] flop. Hardcastle checked, Rudolph bet 9,000,000, and Hardcastle moved all-in for 43,700,000. Rudolph called. The turn was the [poker card="6c"] and the river was the [poker card="ts"] to miss all of Hardcastle's outs and eliminate him in seventh. A blind-versus-blind battle lead to the end of the road for Weijie Zheng. Action folded to Zheng in the small blind and he moved all in for 38,400,000 with [poker card="7s"][poker card="5d"]. Rudolph called from the big blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="8d"] after using two of his time extensions. The [poker card="td"][poker card="9d"][poker card="6c"] flop gave Zheng a gutshot straight draw. The [poker card="ac"] turn gave Rudolph top pair and left Zheng drawing to one of three eights. However, the river was [poker card="3d"] and Zheng was sent to the rail in sixth place. An hour later, the other Swedish player at the final table was eliminated. Fredrik Andersson looked down and [poker card="ad"][poker card="9d"] in the hijack and moved all-in for 30,500,000. Suarez called from the button with [poker card="ah"][poker card="td"] before James Romero folded [poker card="as"][poker card="qh"] from the big blind. THe [poker card="jc"][poker card="5h"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2d"][poker card="5d"] runout couldn't save Andersson and he was eliminated in fifth. The Dusk Till Dawn rail lost one of their own just a few hands later. Suarez called from the small blind with [poker card="9h"][poker card="4h"] and James Clarke checked with d[poker card="4d"]. The [poker card="6h"][poker card="4c"][poker card="4s"] flop gave both players trip fours. Suarez checked, Clarke bet 2,500,000, and Suarez called. The turn was the [poker card="th"] and Suarez bet 12,500,000 before Clarke moved all-in for 71,000,000 and Suarez called. The [poker card="qh"] river gave Suarez a flush and forced Calrke to settle for a fourth place finish. Three-handed play lasted nearly an hour before Suarez found another victim. Rudolph folded the button, Suarez called from the small blind with [poker card="2c"][poker card="2s"] and Romero checked with [poker card="kd"][poker card="jd"]. The [poker card="kc"][poker card="qd"][poker card="2h"] flop gave Suarez bottom set and Romero top pair. Suarez bet 3,000,000 before Romero made it 10,000,000 and Suarez called. The turn was the [poker card="8d"] and Suarez check-called Romero's 20,000,000 bet. After the [poker card="5s"] river, Suarez checked, Romero moved all-in for 42,000,000 and Suarez called to eliminate Romero in third and send the tournament to heads-up with stacks nearly dead even. Each player took turns as the chip leader over the next two hours before Suarez took the chip lead for good. Down to just 10 big blinds, Rudolph moved all-in from the big blind with [poker card="7h"][poker card="4h"] after Suarez completed from the button with [poker card="ad"][poker card="8h"]. Suarez called and then watched the [poker card="kc"][poker card="9d"][poker card="2d"][poker card="as"][poker card="9c"] runout eliminate Rudolph in second place and give Suarez his first major title. partypoker MILLIONS UK Final Table Payouts Anton Suarez - $1,000,000 Christian Rudolph - $620,000 James Romero - $420,000 James Clarke - $311,000 Fredrik Andersson - $230,000 Weijie Zheng - $170,000 Jack Hardcastle - $130,000 Maria Lampropulos - $100,000 Jamie O'Connor - $80,000
Kahle Burns almost won the Global Poker Index Player of the Year title in 2019. On Wednesday, the 31-year-old Australian took a step towards being a contender in 2020 by beating Igor Kurganov heads-up to win the partypoker UK MILLIONS $25,000 High Roller and $350,000. The first day of the two-day event ended with 23 entries and registration still open. By the time registration closed on Day 2, the field had swelled to 37 to produce a total prize pool of $925,000. [ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="NJ Online Poker Promos"][ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"] Once down to a final table of nine players, Burns was in pole position with the chip lead. Rainer Kempe was eliminated in ninth, Yair Bitoun went out in eighth, and Leon Tsoukernik busted in seventh to leave players on a $75,000 bubble. Luke Reeves, who started the day as the chip leader and came to the final table second in chips, was eliminated by Kurganov on the bubble. Five minutes later, Kurganov sent Steve O'Dwyer packing. Action folded to O'Dwyer in the cutoff and he moved all-in for 2,540,000 with [poker card="ks"][poker card="jh"] and Kurganov called from the button with [poker card="ah"][poker card="8c"]. The board ran out [poker card="8d"][poker card="7s"][poker card="2c"][poker card="tc"][poker card="2s"] to eliminate O'Dwyer in fifth place and prevent him from defending the title he won in 2019. Preben Stokkan was the next to go. From the cutoff, Stokkan moved all-in for 1,280,0000 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="8h"], Kurganov folded his button before Ben Heath moved all-in over the top for [poker card="ac"][poker card="kd"]. Burns folded [poker card="ad"][poker card="6d"] in the big blind leaving Stokkan and Heath to see a runout of [poker card="7d"][poker card="4h"][poker card="3s"][poker card="jc"][poker card="5d"]. Preben was unable to improve and was sent hom in fourth place. Winning that pot offered Heath no real momentum and he started three-handed play as the shortest stack. Just 20 minutes later, his tournament was over after a blind vs blind battle. Burns folded his button, and Kurganov raised to 5,000,000 with [poker card="ks"][poker card="5s"]. Heath took his time before calling all-in with [poker card="jc"][poker card="9s"]. The [poker card="td"][poker card="6h"][poker card="4h"] flop was no help and neither the [poker card="7c"] turn or [poker card="7h"] river failed to save Heath from a third-place result. Kurganov started heads-up play with a 2.7-1 chip lead over Burns. Over the next hour-and-a-half, Burns battled back to take a nearly 3-1 lead of his own before finishing Kurganov off for good. On the final hand, Kurganov called from the button with [poker card="4c"][poker card="4h"] and Burns raised to to 1,400,000 with [poker card="as"][poker card="th"]. Kurganov moved all-in for 9,875,000 and Burns called instantly. The [poker card="kh"][poker card="qc"][poker card="9h"] flop gave Burns more outs. He found one of those on the [poker card="jh"] and made Broadway to eliminate Kurganov and win his first title of 2020. The inconsequential river was the [poker card="tc"]. partypoker MILLIONS UK High Roller Final Table Payouts Kahle Burns - $350,000 Igor Kurganov - $222,250 Ben Heath - $150,000 Preben Stokkan - $100,000 Steve O'Dwyer - $75,000