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Poker News | Casino Poker | News

January 2010 Poker Events Kick Off with PCA in Bahamas

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A new year brings new opportunities for poker players of all bankrolls and skill levels, and as 2010 kicks off, there are numerous live poker tournaments on the schedule for January alone. A look at the entire calendar year shows a solid mix of traditional poker events like the World Series of Poker and new tours like the Italian Poker Tour. There is something for everyone at locations around the globe.

PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (January 4 - 14):

The first major event of each year is the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), which allows poker players to start earning frequent flyer miles only days into the new year. After the family gatherings and lack of live poker during the holidays, many are anxious to jump into the 2010 schedule at the PCA, which is part of the European Poker Tour (EPT) and the Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT). And it doesn’t hurt that the locale is a sunny, warm island in the Caribbean, where sandy beaches and ocean waves are only steps from the Atlantis Resort & Casino.

Action will begin on January 4 with a $200 no-limit hold’em turbo tournament and proceed to host approximately 50 events over the course of the next ten days. Included in the mix will be a $25,500 High Roller NLHE event, the World Cup of Poker preliminary events and final tournament, and a 32-person Battleship event where players will compete heads-up at their computers. There will even be the signature PokerStars parties for all attendees of the PCA, featuring a star-studded bash on January 9 featuring R&B singer Kelly Rowland.

And right in the middle of the action, starting on January 5, will be the $10,300 Main Event with its final table scheduled for January 11. The 2009 Main Event saw 1,347 players create a prize pool of $12,674,000, and Poorya Nazari took home the first place prize of $3 million for winning the tournament. Many have speculated that more players will attend in 2010, so the prize pool could very well set new PCA and EPT records.

Southern Poker Championship (January 6 - 27):
For those unable to incur the expenses of the Bahamas and seeking a tournament a bit more low-key, the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino has the ideal series for poker players. The Biloxi, Mississippi casino is one of the premier poker locations in the Southern United States, and its events are so well-attended that the World Poker Tour took its event from Tunica to the Beau Rivage in January.

Events begin with satellites on January 6 and a $340 no-limit hold’em tournament on January 7, and the Southern Poker Championship series will include everything from a $5,000 buy-in PLO championship to a ladies-only NLHE event. Added this year will be a Vanessa Rousso bounty event on January 23, which leads up to the start of the WPT NLHE Championship event on January 24 with a $10,000 buy-in for the four-day tournament that will play its final table on January 27.

The 2009 WPT Main Event gathered 283 players and failed to make enough of a prize pool to guarantee $1 million to the winner, so the Beau Rivage kicked in an extra $24,219 to push it to that desired payout. An overlay for the players was only one of the highlights of the exciting tournament that found Allen Carter claiming victory and that $1 million prize.

Aussie Millions (January 14 - 31):
Australia has one of the most up-and-coming poker scenes in the world, and for years the Aussie Millions has been proof of it. Though Full Tilt Poker no longer sponsors the event, it remains one of the biggest draws in the poker industry and helps kick off the year by giving players the opportunity for a grand Aussie vacation along with some lucrative tournaments at the Crown Casino in Melbourne.

The 2010 schedule for the Aussie Millions offers 20 events, starting with the $1,100 NLHE tournament on January 14. Bounty, heads-up, teams, and rebuy events highlight the list, along with the biggest buy-in tournament in the world - the $100,500 Challenge for the high rollers. The $10,500 Main Event begins on January 24 and gives players the choice of three different starting days, and the final table will play out on January 30.

In 2009, the Main Event found a total of 681 players at the tables, which made for a sizable prize pool with a $2 million first place prize. That was the amount eventually claimed by Aussie Stewart Scott when he won the tournament in his home country.

PokerStars Italian Poker Tour Venice (January 14 - 18):
With so much success from the PokerStars regional tournaments like the EPT and the LAPT, the Italian Poker Tour (IPT) was launched in 2009 and is still in the midst of its first season. Online poker has grown by leaps and bounds in Italy, especially since its recent legalization and government regulation, and the live poker tour has shown that the interest translated into the live circuit.

The seventh stop in Season 1 will bring the IPT to Venice for the second time, this one located at the Ca’ Noghera Casino from January 14 to 18. With a €2,200 buy-in for the Main Event, Italians are expected to join PokerStars Pros like Dario Minieri and Luca Pagano for a tournament that allows players the excitement of a well-run event alongside the world reknown canals and cobblestone streets of Venice.

PokerStars European Poker Tour Deauville (January 20 - 25):
The busy tournament organizers at PokerStars will also be heading to the next stop on the European Poker Tour (EPT) in Deauville, France, as Season 6 moves right along. After Deauville had been taken off the schedule for several years, players flocked to it in 2009 when it returned to the tour. And again it will kick off the 2010 part of the season at the Casino Barriere de Deauville.

There will be cash games beginning on January 19 and side events over the following week, including a ladies-only event and high roller tournament. But the majority of the players will be there for the EPT Main Event that begins on January 20. The €5,300 buy-in tournament will feature two starting days and a final table on January 25.

Last year’s Deauville stop on the EPT brought an amazing crowd of 645 players to the tables, pushing the prize pool past the €3 million mark. Out of the masses of talented players, a German player named Moritz Kranich, who qualified online at PokerStars, was able to win the tournament and the €851,400 first place prize. Organizers are hoping for another near-record-breaking field at the 2010 event, as many of the international players will head to Deauville after the PCA concludes.

WSOP Circuit - Tunica (January 20 - February 11):
Each year, after the World Series of Poker comes to an end in Las Vegas, the Circuit events begin in an effort to give players a taste of the WSOP throughout the year. Winners of the main events get a prestigious WSOP gold ring and an entry to the WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas, and it offers WSOP-run events around the United States at bargain prices as compared to the WSOP proper. In the midst of its current season, the Circuit will land in Tunica, Mississippi on January 20.

Harrah’s will be the home of the Tunica WSOP Circuit stop, and a total of 19 events will offer players the opportunity to play for as little as $230 for the preliminary events. Seniors and ladies will have their own events, and all of the events will be no-limit hold’em tournaments. And the finale will be the $5,150 Championship Event, which is scheduled to start on February 8 and run for three days.

L.A. Poker Classic (January 21 - March 4):
Finally, the first month of 2010 will come to a close amidst the action of the L.A. Poker Classic at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles. The LAPC, as it’s called, is one of the largest draws in the United States because of its tournament structure, established and run by TD Matt Savage, and its wide variety of events culminating in a World Poker Tour Main Event and celebrity invitational tournament.

The LAPC begins on January 21, though satellites begin running on January 15. Featured in the plethora of poker tournaments will be a $2,100 Ironman tournament, $25,100 High Roller event, $1,455 Chinese Poker tournament, $1,065 Badugi tournament, $10,000 heads-up event, and $10,000 HORSE championship event. And it concludes with the $10K WPT Main Event that begins on February 20 and the WPT Celebrity Invitational on February 27. The series is guaranteed to draw players from around the world, and the variety of the events offered along with the acclaimed structures and player-friendly facility look to bring record crowds for the 2010 events.

In 2009, the exciting WPT LAPC final table started with such names as Chris Ferguson and Mike Sowers but finished when Cornel Cimpan won the 303rd hand of the marathon event and took down his first of what would be two WPT titles in 2009. Cimpan was awarded $1,686,760 for the win.

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