January Tournament Poker Schedule A Busy One For Everybody

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Although we are only a few days into 2013 (and maybe some hangovers haven’t worn off yet), the tournament poker world doesn’t rest as there are a plethora of tournaments around the world for players of every ilk.

While the bulk of the poker community is heading for (or already at) the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, there has already been some tournaments that have gotten the jump on that huge event. The World Series of Poker Circuit actually has two tournaments that have already opened action, one at the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, OK and the other at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, CA. Both tournament schedules will feature a $1650 Main Event (the Choctaw tournament is scheduled to begin January 18, “The Bike” scheduled for January 12) with a host of tournament disciplines leading up to those events.

Three tournament schedules will begin today, crossing thousands of miles and two continents. The 2013 Winter Poker Classic begins today at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, while the 2013 Million Dollar Heater starts its action at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, MS. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the World Poker Tour opens up one of its Regional events at the CityWest Hotel in Dublin, Ireland; this tournament is a €1320 buy in and features rebuys through the first four levels of its two Day Ones.

Rescheduled from last year due to Hurricane Sandy’s strike on the East Coast, the Pro Poker Championship will hold its inaugural event in Dover Downs, DE, beginning on January 11. The WPT will also be holding two major events on each side of the country beginning on January 15. The Borgata Winter Poker Open in Atlantic City will start its two week run on that day, while the ever-popular L. A. Poker Classic begins its nearly two-month march at the Commerce Casino at the same time. Both will have WPT championship events (the Borgata tournament is a $3300 buy in which will be streamed online, the L. A. Poker Classic a $10,000 tournament part of the television schedule) alongside pretty much every type of tournament and buy in a player could ask for.

The international poker world will be descending on Melbourne, Australia come January 17 as the 2013 Aussie Millions kicks off its 26 event schedule. This tournament, which features one of the biggest buy in tournaments in the world with its $250,000 Super High Roller, a $100,000 High Roller and a $10,000 Main Event, has consistently drawn players to the Crown Casino in Melbourne for its festivities. The Main Event is expected to draw a large enough field for the first place prize to crack the $2 million (Australian dollars) mark.

As the calendar moves into the later part of January, the WSOP-C returns for its next event at Harrah’s Tunica on January 24 and the M Resort in Henderson, NV, will play host to the 2013 Hollywood Poker Open. As the month comes to a close, the European Poker Tour kicks back into action at the Casino Barriere de Bordeaux in Deauville, France, while the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas will play host to the latest incarnation of its Deep Stack Extravaganza.

Another event at the end of January will probably be the talk of the poker community, however. After not being played in 2012, the National Heads Up Poker Championship will make its return to Caesars Palace from January 24-26. The unique format of the event – 64 of the top professionals, select celebrities and fortunate amateur qualifiers battling it out in an NCAA-style “March Madness” bracket format – has been one of the top tournaments since its inception in 2005. Featuring such former champions as Phil Hellmuth, Ted Forrest, Paul Wasicka, Chris Ferguson, Huck Seed, Annie Duke and the 2011 victor, Erik Seidel, the 2013 NHUPC is expected to once again draw in the crème of the poker community.

Although the first month of a new tournament poker calendar isn’t indicative of overall success, getting off to a good start is important. Everyone remembers Jonathan Duhamel’s remarkable run at the 2012 PCA as well as Oliver Speidel’s championship effort in Australia, which set both up for excellent finishes on the various Player of the Year races available. The same will hold true for the first month of 2013 as the tournament poker world jumps back into action full steam ahead.

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