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Poker News | Casino Poker | News

Casino Poker Report: March has Everything from Heads-Up to New WPT Stop

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This is the time of year that poker players must make choices. Play the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship in Las Vegas or the EPT Berlin? Play the WPT Hollywood Poker Open in Indiana or the LAPT Vina del Mar in Chile? Oh, the decisions they face.

March is truly one of the busiest months in the world of live tournament poker, and there will be poker players jet-setting around the world to make the most of it. There is something for everyone, from high-stakes players who like the $10,000 or higher buy-ins to those looking for more amateur-laden fields and lower buy-ins. It will be a big month with quite a few new champions crowned, so let the rundown of the schedule begin!

World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic (January 21 - March 4) & Bay 101 Shooting Star (March 8 - 12) & Hollywood Poker Open (March 20 - 24):

The L.A. Poker Classic is one of the longest running tournament series of the year in poker, and it wraps with one of the most popular as the World Poker Tour comes in for the LAPC $10K Main Event. The big one began on February 26 with 745 players, more than they’ve had at any one WPT event during their eighth season thus far and more than the 2009 LAPC, and it will conclude in the first days of March with a final table that will make millionaires out of the top two finishers. Along with that final table, another one will be filmed for TV as well, that of the WPT Celebrity Invitational that found its six finalists on February 21.

The World Poker Tour will then move its crew up the California coast to San Jose for the Bay 101 Shooting Stars tournament, typically another one of its more popular. Many of the recognizable faces in the tournament have $5,000 bounties attached, and there are numerous fans that show up to see the action. Last year, long-time pro player Steve Brecher defeated Kathy Liebert to take down the WPT title, and this year the Bay 101 will likely have another exciting tournament.

From there, the WPT proceeds to the Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, Indiana for its inaugural event there. Adding another event to the lineup was an interesting move, but providing an option for residents of Midwest America was something that many players hoped for. The $10K buy-in event will take place from March 20 through 24 to nearly wrap the season and bring the WPT to its Championship event in Las Vegas in April.

WSOP Circuit Council Bluffs (February 18 - March 2) & Atlantic City (March 3 - 14) & Rincon (March 18 - 31)

The World Series of Poker Circuit events are amidst a heavy part of the season, and there are two events that will play out in full during the month of March after one already in progress finally wraps up. The latter started in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on February 18 and will conclude its 24 events on March 2 with its latest champion and the awarding of the Main Event WSOP ring.

From Iowa, the WSOP staff heads to Caesars in Atlantic City for one of the Circuit’s most popular stops, and it kicks off on March 3 with a $340 No-Limit Hold’em event. There’s something for the NLHE player every day until the $5,150 Main Event starts on March 12, even a ladies-only event on March 14 for only $230. Then everyone packs up and relocates to the Harrah’s Rincon event near San Diego, which begins on March 18 and runs through the last day of the month. Buy-ins range from $100 for the ladies-only tournament to $5,000 for the Main Event, with much in between for NLHE players looking for warm spring weather on the West Coast.

PokerStars European Poker Tour Berlin (March 2 - 7) & Snowfest (March 21 - 26):

It looks to be a big month for the European Poker Tour, starting with a much-anticipated stop in Berlin. The EPT has been quite popular with German players, though Dortmund has been the tour’s only stop in that country until now. Berlin has already established a unique set-up for the event at the Spielbank Berlin, and organizers are anticipating one of their biggest fields ever of near 1,000 players when the event kicks off on March 2, as players began signing up as soon as the stop was announced.

Another addition to the Season 6 schedule is the EPT Snowfest, which will take place at the Alpine Palace, a luxurious ski resort in Saalbach/Hinterglemm, Austria. The cap on this event is 500 and will predictably draw less of a crowd than Berlin, but the Austrian market is one that has yet to be tapped and looks to become a permanent stop on future EPT tours. The tournament will begin on March 21 and wrap with a final table on March 26.

PokerStars Australia New Zealand Poker Tour Perth (March 17 - 21):

The Australia New Zealand Poker Tour is finally in its second season, and after kicking it off in Adelaide in February, the series will take to Perth, Australia for its second stop. The Burswood Entertainment Complex will host the 2,500 AUD buy-in Main Event surrounded by side events for players who crave more action. The Main Event begins on March 17 and will offer multiple starting days with a final table on March 21.

PokerStars Latin American Poker Tour Vina del Mar (March 20 - 23):

The third season of the Latin American Poker Tour began in November of 2009 but took several months off before resuming in Punta del Este , Uruguay. In March, the LAPT plans to head to Vina del Mar, Chile, a stop that was put on the schedule last year and became one of the most popular. However, Chile recently experienced a brutally strong and destructive earthquake, and while the nation attempts to recover, the tournament may be postponed until a later date, though no official word has yet come from PokerStars. If the event goes on as planned, the $2,500 buy-in will begin on March 20 and run for four days.

PokerStars Italian Poker Tour San Remo (February 25 - March 1) & Nova Gorica (March 22):

Italy is one of the countries that the poker industry finds the most new players, and though live tournament poker is somewhat limited, the venues that provide it have become very popular. So PokerStars decided to launch a new poker tour in 2009 called the Italian Poker Tour, and the IPT has drawn solid crowds for its tournaments held thus far. The season of events will wrap in April, but March will lead up to that by declaring two more champions.

The San Remo event, the fifth time the IPT has been there in its inaugural season, began on February 25 and will finish its final table on March 1. The tour will then proceed to Nova Gorcia, where the Perla Casino will host a $2,200 buy-in event beginning on March 22. It will be the second visit to that particular venue this season and looks for a solid turnout as it will be the last moderate buy-in tournament before the season finale.

NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship (March 4 - 7):

In what has become a staple in the annual tournament line-up, the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship returns to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas during the first week of March with its bracket-style heads-up tournaments. The invitational event brings 64 players to the tables, seven of whom will be online qualifiers and the rest will be widely recognized names in the poker industry. The festivities begin on March 4 with the drawing party at Pure nightclub, where players find out who they will face in their matches, and action then runs from March 5 to 7, all of which will be filmed by NBC Sports for broadcast in April and May. 

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