Inaugural PokerStars Championship Event Begins Tomorrow in the Bahamas



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After all of a week to rest and recuperate from a successful 2016 (or, for some, worry and lament the losses), poker’s most notable professionals and a horde of talented (and fortunate) online amateurs will be ensconced in the Atlantis Resort and Casino tomorrow to kick off the 2017 tournament poker season.

The poker world will find some changes when they land on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, however. Gone is the European Poker Tour after a 13-year run and in comes the PokerStars Championship Bahamas. In fact, that is the new name of the tournament instead of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, a name it had held since its inception. The move, made by the ownership of Amaya Gaming, is an attempt to make the signature tournament series for the company more of an “international” event (rather than just Europe) and signifies a final break from the “old days” of the company.

While the old PCA had a load of events over its schedule, the new PokerStars Championship is taking that number to the nth degree. Beginning tomorrow, a grand total of 92 events will be offered to everyone on the Atlantis grounds. Doing the math, that breaks down to TEN DIFFERENT tournaments that players can take part in during the nine-day poker fest. Whether it is giving the players what they want (Amaya’s take) or it is a blatant money grab by a corporate entity looking to suck as much green up as they can (some disgruntled players’ viewpoint) is up to the fans and players to decide.

The PokerStars Championship Bahamas will not wait to get the action started. The PokerStars Championship Super High Roller will begin on Friday with the $100,000 UNLIMITED REENTRY tournament kicking off the festivities. If that is too rich for the blood of some on Paradise Island, there are 10 other tournaments on the opening day roster, including two $330 Turbo qualifiers for another significant event on the PokerStars Championship Bahamas schedule.

That event, the PokerStars National Championship, will kick off on Saturday. The $2200 unlimited reentry tournament will start at 11AM and may be populated by those who are looking for a warmup for the PokerStars Championship Main Event. That tournament, which literally hundreds of players have qualified for online at PokerStars, opens Day 1A play at 11AM on Sunday (Day 1B, naturally, will take place on Monday). The Main Event will take most of next week to reach the final table, which is set to be played out one week from Saturday.

There are other tournaments that should spark the pros into action at the Atlantis. The PokerStars Championship High Roller – you know, the one where you “only” have $25,000 buy-ins – will begin play on January 12, and virtually every other discipline of poker will be tested on the tournament stage. If that isn’t enough for the poker players in the Bahamas, a rack of cash games are also on the schedule going from $1/$2 up to $200/$400 (a rake schedule is also provided here along with buy-in requirements).

If poker isn’t your thing (or you’ve just had incredibly bad timing and hit a downswing during the tournament schedule), there’s plenty to do away from the felt. There will be a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, a tailgate party for the National Football League playoff games that will be taking place in the States of America on January 7-8 that will feature free food and drinks (along with a “squares” competition for prizes) and a “Player Party” to close the festivities on January 13 at Aura Nightclub at Atlantis. For those that like gaming on another level – video – PokerStars will also give away a gaming setup that encompasses a state-of-the-art laptop, widescreen monitor, keyboard, mouse, and other prizes that is valued at $5000 (only those players attending the tournament will be eligible to win) and will be raffled off on January 13 also.

It is usually the biggest way to kick start the tournament poker world after a mid-winter slumber and it doesn’t appear that there will be any difference this year other than the name. The PokerStars Championship Bahamas is looking to bring a “new world” of competition to tournament poker and it all begins on Friday.

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