Poker Strategy

World Series of Poker Circuit Debuts in Russia from 13th May 2018


partypoker LIVE has signed a four-year agreement in terms of which it will become the major partner for live poker tournaments at the Casino Sochi, Russia with the partnership kicking off in style with partypoker helping to run the first-ever World Series of Poker Circuit event in Russia.

The festival is scheduled to run from Sunday, 13th May to Sunday, 27th May 2018 at the spectacular Casino Sochi where there will be seven “ring events” rewarding their champion a sought-after WSOP Circuit ring during these dates.  A massive amount of P243 million is guaranteed to be won during the festival which equals to approximately $4 million.

The Main Event features the biggest guarantee with the P66.000 ($1,100) buy-in tournament seeing P120 million ($2 million) guaranteed that is bound to attract select poker players from Europe, Russia and all over the world.

Yet another ring event that comes with a large guarantee is the P16.500 ($275) Colossus event which has P60 million ($1 million) up for grabs.  Other ring-awarding events include the Super High Roller, High Roller, Monster Stack, Closer and Pot Limit Omaha.

Event Buy-in Guarantee Approx Value in USD Dates
Main Event ₽66,000 ₽120,000,000 $1,100 / $2 million May 13-27
Colossus ₽16,500 ₽60,000,000 $275 / $1 million May 13-22
Monster Stack ₽33,000 ₽15,000,000 $550 / $250,000 May 21-23
Super High Roller ₽318,000 ₽15,000,000 $5,300 / $250,000 May 21-22
High Roller ₽132,000 ₽15,000,000 $2,200 / $250,000 May 25-27
Closer ₽16,500 ₽15,000,000 $275 / $250,000 May 25-27
Pot Limit Omaha ₽33,000 ₽3,000,000 $550 / $50,000 May 27

Players can choose from a total of eight Day 1s in the Main Event that includes two that are to be played online at partypoker.  These run on Tuesday, 1st and Sunday, 20th with the live Day 1s starting on Tuesday, 22nd May 2018.

partypoker will also be hosting an online Day1 and online Day2 for the Colossus.

Satellites to the WSOP-C Russia Main Event are available online at partypoker.  Feeder tournaments start at a mere $0.50 and feed into $22 buy-in Semi Finals which award seats to the $215 WSOP-C Russia Finals running on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday guaranteeing between 15 and 30 x $1,175 seats.


Unibet Open Partners with Cash Game Festival and Unibet Deepstack Open


The team at Unibet is pleased to reveal that it will be partnering with the Cash Game Festival and joining forces with the Unibet Deepstack Open in conjunction with Casino Malta for the first time.

The Cash Game Festival takes effect today, Wednesday 4th April 2018 at the next stop of the year – the Banco Casino Bratislava in Bratislava, Slovakia -and will continue until Sunday 8th April 2018.

The Cash Game Festival includes over 120 hours of consecutive live cash games at high and low stakes as well as two televised feature tables a day.  The festival also hosts lots of thrilling activities outside the felt for online qualifiers and those that take part in the hospitality package.

The Unibet Open will also be partnering with the Unibet Deepstack Open in conjunction with Casino Malta for the first time in May of this year at the Intercontinental Hotel in the dazzling area of St. Julian’s, Malta.

The festival will commence with the two-day €330 Unibet Deepstack Open Cup on Wednesday, 16th and Thursday, 17th May 2018 with the final day streaming on the Unibet Open website.

The Unibet Open Malta will feature 10 action-packed events in total that will be highlighted by the €1,100 Unibet Open Main Event.

The schedule includes the €220 NL Turbo Bounty tournament, a €330 Deepstack tourney as well as a special €110 Ladies Event hosted by Daiva Byrne.  Other Unibet ambassadors include Rauno “Estonian Jesus” Tahvonen, Espen Uhlen Jorsad, two-time Unibet Open champion Dan Murariu and The Chip Race podcast hosts David Lappin and Dara O’Kearney.

The €10,000 invitational “Battle Royale” freeroll is yet another highlight to the festival in Malta that will see eSports stars competing for a top prize of €5,000.  During the last Battle Royale that took place at the Unibet Open London in February 2018, Dutch player Thijs Molendijk won the title with Phil “syrinxx” Schpenebaum coming in at second place and Scott “Sco” McMillan cashing in third place.

Grosvenor Casino’s Full Schedule for 2018


Grosvenor Casinos has released its full schedule of live poker events for this year which includes details of the 12th season of the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT), namely the Goliath, the popular 25/25 Series and the UK Student Poker Championships.

Last year’s GUKPT featured 10 legs and awarded  £3,698 throughout the year.  The coming season’s schedule has been reduced by one leg with GUKP Walsall having been removed from the calendar.

The first leg of the 2018 GUKPT took place in London between 28th January and 4th February 2018 with a £1,100 buy-in Main Event and a £200,000 guarantee.

The tour heads to Manchester from London then to Edinburgh, Reading, back to London for a £560 buy-in tournament and a £100,000 guarantee then to Leeds, Luton, Blackpool, finishing off the year with a £2,140 Grand Final with a massive guaranteed prize pool of £400,000.

The 2018 GUKPT Schedule is as follows –

Dates Leg Main Event Buy-in Main Event Guarantee Location
Jan. 28-Feb. 4 GUKPT London £1,110 £200,000 The Poker Room, London
Feb. 25-Mar. 4 GUKPT Manchester £1,110 £200,000 Grosvenor Casino Bury New Road
Apr. 22-29 GUKPT Edinburgh £560 £100,000 Grosvenor Casino Maybury
Jun. 3-10 GUKPT Reading £560 £100,000 Grosvenor Casino Reading South
Jul 1-8 GUKPT London 500 £560 £100,000 The Poker Room, London
Sep. 9-16 GUKPT Leeds £560 £100,000 Grosvenor Casino Leeds Westgate
Oct. 7-14 GUKPT Luton £1,110 £200,000 Grosvenor Casino Luton
Nov. 4-11 GUKPT Blackpool £1,110 £200,000 Grosvenor Casino Blackpool
Nov. 25-Dec. 2 GUKPT Grand Final £2,140 £400,000 The Poker Room, Lond


The Goliath was the biggest live poker tournament held outside the USA during 2017 when 6,385 entries were processed.  This year’s edition that runs from 26th July to 5th August 2018 could increase with the eventual champion being guaranteed to win at least £100,000 for an investment of £125.

Grosvenor’s 25/25 Series is a well-structured tournament that players can play for a low buy-in cost of £225.  It offers guaranteed prize pools of £25,000 and heads to 30 casinos between 11th January and 9th December 2018.

The Grosvenor Casinos UK Student Poker Championship takes place from 4th to 8th April 2016 at the Grosvenor Casino Coventry in the Ricoh Arena.  The Main Event is a £37 buy-in.

Unibet Poker Announces UK Poker Tour Season 3 Dates


Unibet Poker has announced that it has once again partnered with Caesars Interactive UK for the third season of its UK Poker Tour.

A £220 buy-in Main Event that features in each of the four stops boasts a £40,000 guaranteed prize pool with players having an opportunity to win their way into it cheaply, online at Unibet Poker.  Unibet has made a number of changes to the Main Event’s structure following feedback from the tour’s players.

One of the biggest changes is doubling the starting stack from 25,000 to 50,000 chips that should result in deeper stacks as the tournament progresses.  There is also a huge change in the introduction of what Unibet Poker is calling the “flexi-clock” that sees blind levels range between 25 and 45 minutes depending on the stage the tournament is in.

It will still be possible for players to re-enter once per starting day and play in Day 1a as well as Day 1b, taking their largest stack through to the final day.

Unibet UK Poker Tour 2018

Dates Venue
Mar. 23-25 Brighton Rendezvous
Jun. 29-Jul. 1 Glasgow Alea
Sep. 28-30 Brighton Rendezvous
Dec. 7-9 Manchester 235


Unibet is due to run two” last longer” promotions at each UK Poker stop. A €2,000 Unibet Open package will go to the online qualifier who lasts the longest in each Main Event and an additional €2,000 Unibet Open package will be awarded to each stop’s champion.

Players have a chance to win a €500 package online at Unibet Poker.  Unibet Poker will also run a three package guaranteed final each Saturday at 7.00 p.m. GMT where players can secure the Unibet UK Poker Tour Main Event buy-in as well as some spending money.

David Lappin, an Ambassador at Unibet, revealed that he is a huge fan of grassroots poker that it is players’ responsibility as pro’s to support it whenever possible.  He added that the UK Tour travels to great venues, guarantees tasty prize-pools and this year, it is introducing a world-class modern innovation with the “Flexi-Clock” – a dynamic intuitive structure that promises meaningful poker from the start and more play at the end when it counts.

Ambassador Daiva Byrne will be hosting a Ladies event for UK players on the final day of each stop and they can also enjoy a free poker seminar at each event run by Ian Simpson, the former Irish Open Champion.

The Big Game to Return with PLO Edition at partypoker Millions Germany


Partypoker’s The Big Game, which is one of the most famous televised cash games around, will be returning next month for its very first PLO edition.  The eight-handed €50/€100 game is scheduled to take place during the €12.5 million guaranteed MILLIONS German series at King’s Casino in Rozvadov.

The cash game will run for 36 hours straight, starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, 10th February and ending at 6 a.m. on Monday, 12th February 2018.  There will be a minimum buy-in for the game of €20,000 and players will have an opportunity to buy in for a maximum of €40,000.

Numerous interesting players, which include leading pros and businessmen, are expected on the scene, many of them the usual experts, namely partypoker Ambassador Sam Trickett, actress and WSOP Ladies Event winner Jennifer Tilly, Dusk till Dawn owner Rob Yong and accomplished businessman known as “The Wolf” Yair Bitoun.

International poker experts Phil Laak, Philipp Gruissem and Viktor Blom will also be attending as well as another figure who has been instrumental in attracting the multitude of viewers to The Big Game – Lithuanian poker pro-turned-politician Antanas “Tony G” Guoga.

The Big Game is unique due to the presence of an online qualifier joining the game by winning the partypoker Big Game Challenge.  The competition for this seat that comes with a package valued at over $27,000 will run online at partypoker between now and Sunday, 4th February 2018 with the winner being awarded the following –

  • $20,000 Big Game buy-in
  • $5,300 MILLIONS Online entry
  • €1,100 MILLIONS Open entry
  • 5 nights’ accommodation
  • $900 for travel and expenses

Partypoker is also bringing back the “vote-off”, a feature of the original game.  Another feature that is new for the upcoming edition is the “party button booster”.

Sam Trickett, commented on the forthcoming event by saying that he is really looking forward to the return of The Big Game as it is always huge fun to play – even if you do not win – and he is looking forward to testing his PLO skills against the likes of Isildur and Tony G.

Trickett went on to say that The Big Game is one of the most popular poker shows on TV and will be a very exciting part of the MILLIONS Germany schedule in Rozvadov.



PokerStars Shared Liquidity Network in Europe to Use “Seat Me”


PokerStars will be using a shared European liquidity network soon that will not allow players to table select.

Online poker traditionally allows players to browse through a selection of available tables and then choose the seats they liked best.  However, with the “Seat Me” system, players get to choose a game and a stake while the system selects a seat for them, which is similar to the way seating works in most live poker rooms.

Severin Rasset, the Director of Innovation and Poker Operations at PokerStars, commented that they have achieved most of their initial goals with “Seat Me”.   Rasset went on to say that this will greatly reduce players’ ability to hunt specific opponents, completely preventing the use of seating scripts and creating an environment where recreational players play more hands.

There are a number of challenges that come with a shared liquidity network that include regulatory hoops to jump through in two different jurisdictions, which make it quite difficult if the two areas are not on the same page in terms of regulations.  The rollout of the actual product presents choices due to the fact that the operator cannot always simply copy and paste an old product into a new market.

Spain has, in this case, been the test market for “Seat Me”.

According to PokerStars, the system was meant to “improve the overall experience” of players.  They explicitly announced that they were endeavouring to reduce the ability to “bumhunt” or allow strong players to look out for weaker ones.  The new system aimed at seating scripts allowing players to instantly sit whenever a profitable seat opened and data mining, where players could collect data on opponents’ play styles without actually playing with them.

Unfortunately, the system effectively blocked players from “railbirding” on the high stakes tables which have been a vast part of online poker since its inception at most sites.  The industry has, however, been changing.

A year after the implementation of Seat Me, PokerStars had a decision to make with the coming shared liquidity network between Spain and France and eventually Italy and Portugal.  They could go with traditional online poker seating or Seat Me out of the Spain test market.

PokerStars has seen enough of a positive result from the system and intends implementing it to a wider customer base.


888 Ambassadors Head to London in February


888poker Live will be returning to action for the first time this year when it makes its’ way to Aspers Casino in London from Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th February 2018.

888poker Live Kick Off 2018 is a £440 buy-in tournament that will feature four starting flights that come with a guaranteed prize pool of a massive sum of £120,000.  Day 1 will see players sitting down with 25,000 tournament chips in order to play blinds of 30 minutes and 40 minutes on Day 2.  Those players who dust off their stack during the 210-minute late registration period will have a chance to re-enter twice.

It would appear as though a number of members of the 888poker ambassador lineup will be present in the British capital.  Dominik Nitsche will definitely be playing while a trio of 888’s ladies will also be heading to London.  Kara Scott, Natalie Hof and 888poker’s newest ambassador Vivian Saliba will be demonstrating their skills at Aspers Casino.

Chris Moorman, online poker’s most recognized player, is also due to descend on the largest casino in the United Kingdom and will be pulling out all the stops in order to get 2018 off to a winning start.  Moorman is bound to be confident of winning a tournament on home soil.

Although the £440 buy-in makes 888poker Live Kick Off 2018 quite affordable, 888poker is still running satellites into the £120.000 guaranteed Main Event.  A $12 buy-in satellite guarantees at least one £440 ($600) seat while those wanting to get their hands on a package are required to play in the $30 buy-in satellites.

Those players who manage to play their way to a $1,200 package will receive –

  • The £440 ($600) 888poker Live Kick Off Main Event buy-in
  • $300 for accommodation
  • $300 for travel expenses

There are also feeder satellites at a cost of a mere $0.01 running around the clock for those wanting to try and win a $1,200 package for a single cent.


PokerStars to Launch $9 Million-Added Players Championship Next Year


PokerStars announced the launch of the annual Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) last month, an exclusive live poker tournament that will see it pump at least $9 million of added value into the prize pool, intending to make it the richest $25,000 buy-in tournament in the history of poker.

The inaugural PSPC is scheduled to be held the week before the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas.

PokerStars add a massive amount of $9 million to the prize pool.  An amount of $8 million in PSPC tournament will be awarded throughout this year by PokerStars by way of 300 free PSPC packages, known as Platinum Passes, with a value of $30,000 (including travel and accommodation).  The additional amount of $1 million will be awarded to the prospective PSPC champion.

Rafi Ashkenazi, the Chief Executive Officer of The Stars Group, commented that they expect that the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship will set the new global standard for live poker tournaments.

Ashkenazi went on to say that they would like to demonstrate and reinforce their commitment to the game, and give something back to the players by investing in their live events in a meaningful way.  He added that their objective is to create an event that brings professionals and amateurs together, creating many winning moments and unforgettable stories.

Daniel Negreanu, Team PokerStars Pro added that he is super excited about the Players No Limit Hold’em Championship.  He also said that this is going to be an incredible experience for those who participate and that everyone, no matter their skill level, has a chance to win a Platinum Pass.  He added that it will be a must-play event with loads of added value.

Each Platinum Pass is worth $30,000 and includes –

  • The $25,000 buy-in to the PSPC
  • Six nights’ accommodation at Atlantis Resort Nassau
  • $2,000 in travel expenses
  • Some exciting rewards and surprises that are still to be announced.

Players can earn a $30,000 Platinum Package by winning key online tournaments, such as the Sunday Million and Sunday Storm, or by winning a Micro Millions event, a Turbo Championship of Online Poker (TCOOP) tournament, a World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) event or some other specified tournaments throughout the year.  Platinum Packages could even be put in PokerStars’ chest rewards and9+ can also be received by players by winning Main Events at PokerStars’ live events and via last longer competitions and wildcards.



PokerStars Caribbean Adventure


A good way to bring in the New Year is by heading to the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) which is due to take place between Saturday, 6th and Sunday, 14th January 2018.

Included in the schedule are 31 action-packed tournaments, the highlight of which is the six-day $10,300 PCA Main Event taking place from 8th to 14th January when players will start off with 30,000 in chips and 60-minute blind levels before increasing to 90 minutes later in the tournament.

Last year saw Christian Harder finishing on top of the 738-entrant field when the event was branded as the PokerStars Championship Bahamas Event.  Harder won an amount of $429,664 after agreeing to a heads-up deal with Cliff Josephy.

The upcoming Man Event will see the buy-in being doubled from $5,000 to $10,000.  In addition, 300 players qualified online at PokerStars for a full package to the Main Event, valued at $14,855.

Those who participate in at least one tournament in the festival will be invited to a PCA $50,000 Freeroll on Sunday, 14th January 2018.  Side-event buy-ins commence at only $160.  Any player appearing at the final table will be given a gift, valued at up to $500 over and above the cash amount awarded.

Players can also get involved in the $50,000 Player Giveaway and earn tickets in tournaments as well as cash games.  Tournament players can earn five tickets into a random draw where six players will be awarded prizes by being seated in an event at the first blind level.  Another five tickets will be given if they bubble any event and one ticket if they finish in the money in any event.

Anytime cash game players are dealt a full house, they will earn one ticket while two tickets are earned any time they are dealt quads and three tickets if they are dealt a royal flush.  Cash game players will also automatically participate in a High Hand Jackpot where $300 is awarded every hour during 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. between Sunday, 7th and Saturday, 13th January 2018.


Record-Breaking $20m Gtd. MILLIONS Online announced by partypoker


Partypoker hosted the $5,300 partypoker MILLIONS Online a few weeks ago, which was the biggest event in the site’s history.  The event gained lots of attention in the poker world, proving to be a great success by surpassing its $5 million guarantee with 1,047 entrants generating a prize pool of $5.135.  The inaugural event was won by Jonathan “sordykrd” Van Fleet who walked away with $1,027 million which was slightly more than the $1 million guaranteed for the first place.

Partypoker has revealed that they will return the event next year from 1st till 4th December 2018 featuring a guaranteed prize pool that will be quadrupled to a whopping $20 million, which is the biggest guarantee in the history of online poker.

Partypoker has announced two ways that players can win a free seat to the event in addition to a couple of satellites and feeder tournaments that are planned for throughout the year.

The online poker room will be hosting a weekly MILLIONS Online Leaderboard as from 5th February 2018 with the top 10 spots each week being awarded entry to the $5,300 buy-in event.  This promotion will see a total of $3 million being awarded which will also include mid and low leaderboards giving out $22, $109 and $530 satellite tickets to the top 20 players.

Partypoker will also be rewarding the best players in each partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Main Event with 10 seats to the partypoker MILLIONS Online or $53,000 in value awarded to the top 10 players.  This will commence for the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Germany to be held from 10th to 18th February 2018 at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.

Tom Waters, the Managing Director at partypoker, thanked the players who supported the event and revealed that running the first MILLIONS Online this year was an exciting time for them, bringing the concept of their live tour online.

Waters went on to say that the feedback they had from their players was overwhelming and there was no better way to say thank you than to run it again, but this time making the guarantee a massive $20,000,000.

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