Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Full Tilt Poker to Renew Espana Series

The first round of live poker tournaments in Spain was so popular for Full Tilt Poker that they have decided to keep it going for a second season. As a result, the Full Tilt Poker Espana Series is now back with at least four different dates being run.

The first tournament will take place in Gerona starting on April 25th and running through the 27th at the lovely Casino Castell de Peralada. Following on the heels of that will be a tournament in Malaga at the Casino Torrequebrada starting on June 4th and running through to June 6th. At that point, the series will pause in deference to the World Series of Poker, the main live poker tournament series in the game.

It won’t pause for long however as the Spanish capitol of Madrid will host a tournament at the Casino Gran venue that starts on August 27th and runs through to August 29th. Bringing up the rear and therefore rounding out the second season of Full Tilt Poker Espana will be the Barcelona Grand Final starting on December 2nd and continuing through to the 5th of the same month. The Casino Gran de Barcelona will host that event, giving the brand two out of the four events listed so far in this season’s Espana Series.

As with all good live poker tournaments sponsored by online poker sites, satellite tournaments are available for all of the Espana events. There is a $216 satellite tournament that gets players into a tournament with three prize packages offered and a $535 satellite tournament with 5 prize packages offered. The former will be held every Tuesday and Thursday while the latter will run on every Sunday.

For players that do not want to pay that much money for a chance at one of the seats, Full Tilt Poker naturally offers super satellite tournaments as well. The lowest buy-in at the moment is $5 and players will have to parlay that into multiple victories if they want to make their way into one of the larger satellite tournaments and win a prize package from them. It is harder, but of course it can be done.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

WSOP Tournament of Champions Reborn

It was run in 2004, 2005 and 2006 as a meeting of the greatest poker players of the time. However, it wasn’t really thought of as an all-important all-star game but rather more as a fun way to celebrate the end of another successful World Series of Poker.

Now however, with live tournament poker looking for ways to increase its image through marketing, the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions will return to Prime Time and this time will be billed as an All-Star Game that will feature the best players at the time fighting it out for poker supremacy and all the bragging rights.

The 2010 WSOP Tournament of Champions will feature a field of the 27 greatest poker players in the world today. Included automatically in the list will be Annie Duke, Mike Matusow and Mike Sexton, the respective winners of the 2004, 2005 and 2006 iterations of the event. Also included will be 2009 WSOP Main Event champion Joe Cada and 2009 WSOP Europe Main Event champion Barry Shulman. Two sponsor exemptions to be determined at a later date will round out the first 7 players in the field and the final 20 will be chosen through online balloting by all of the fans in the world of poker.

The main reason for the lion’s share of players being chosen by the fans is quite simple. The WSOP Tournament of Champions from 2010 onwards is going to be run like an All-Star Game. No matter what sport you look at, be it baseball, basketball, football or hockey, you will see that the top North American leagues in the sport all have All-Star Games where the attendees are chosen by the fans. The WSOP Tournament of Champions is attempting to follow in those footsteps and that is where this entire idea comes from.

For that reason, the Tournament of Champions will also be broadcast on ESPN as part of their WSOP coverage. The first part of the tournament will take place June 27th and the last on July 4th, but the actual broadcast date on ESPN is August 3rd.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Test Your Cash Game Might at Party Poker

While everyone else has been running around trying to find out who the best online tournament poker player is, Party Poker is more interested in finding out who happens to be the best online cash game poker player. It is in the spirit of gaining that information that they have announced the first Online Cash Game Championship. The OCGC for 2010 will go from March 1st to April 2nd and will feature more than $250,000 in prizes given out by Party Poker to the best cash game players around.

In total, there are going to be seven levels run for the championship, each cutting players out of the running. In all of the levels, you need to play at least 400 hands to qualify for consideration and the best performers over 400 or more hands will be able to advance to the next level. Players will start on level one from March 1st to 5th with the best players advancing to level 2 which will be played March 8th to 12th.

Successful players will win $50 and advance to level 3 which will be played March 15th to 17th. This time successful players get a cash prize of $200 before playing in level 4 from March 22nd to March 23rd. Success here is worth $400 in prize money and a spot in level 5 from March 25th to March 26th. Players that are successful here will advance to the final two levels and gain $1500 in prize money at the same time.

These secondary prizes are nice, but they pale in comparison to what players can win on April 2nd if they make it to the final table of the OCGC 2010 event. The highest stack at the end gets the grand prize of $40,000 while the runner up gets $20,000 and the third place finisher still nets an impressive $10,000.

If the event is successful, Party Poker has certainly not ruled out the possibility of coming back with an annual or even more than once per year version of the OCGC for its players to compete in.