While online poker is perfect for getting thousands of hands in and playing from the comfort of your own home, there’s nothing quite like a live poker tournament.
From the dizzying hum of shuffling chips to the sudden outbursts of joy (or anguish) when a river card hits, live poker tournaments can be straight shots of pure poker adrenalin.
Long 12 hours days of grinding out a short stack for a min-cash at times, too. But still.
That massive payout up top is usually more than enough to keep a small buzz going.
Playing live poker tournaments, watching live poker tournaments, reading about live tournaments … whatever your preference, there’s no short supply of live poker tournaments these days to get your fix.
If you want to know how live poker tournaments work or how to play different types of poker tournaments, check our Poker Tournaments pages here:
If you’re looking for more on how to win live poker tournaments, check our Poker Tournament Strategy articles here:
Qualify for Live Poker Tournaments Online
If you’re more interested in playing live poker tournaments than watching them online or finding out their results, there are dozens of ways – and dozens of live poker events – you can qualify for for online.
Virtually every major live poker tour runs qualifying online events at either their own branded online poker site or an online partner. Eg. PokerStars and the European Poker Tour, partypoker and the partypoker Live Tour, 888poker and the 888Live series … the list goes on an on.
The most iconic live poker tournament series of them all, the World Series of Poker, also has online qualifiers for both the main series in Las Vegas every summer and the WSOP Europe, which is now held at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.
If you live in the United States the only places you can currently qualify online to play the WSOP are at the official WSOP.com poker site and only if you live/visit the states of Nevada, New Jersey or Delaware. If you live/play in New Jersey you can also qualify for live PokerStars events on PokerStars.nj. Check our review pages below for more info:
If you live in most other countries of the world you can qualify for live poker tournaments, big or small, at most online poker sites all year round. Check the “tournaments” or “satellites” tab in your online poker lobby to see where seats and packages are being offered right now. See our list of the Best Poker Tournament sites here:
Most packages you can win to play live poker tournaments are worth $1,000+ and include:
- Full buy-in to the main event or side events
- Money for travel to the poker tournament
- Accommodation for several nights
- “Swag bag” of poker merchandise to wear/use at the table
Winning a package online for a live poker tournament is the best way for an amateur or recreational poker player to experience the thrill of a major live poker event or series!
Watch Live Poker Tournaments Online
If you can’t be at the table (or on the rail) of a major live poker tournament the next best thing to being there is watching all of the action live online via a live stream. In fact it may even be a bit better as it’s hard to catch most of the action from the rail of the tournament but online you can see it all (or at least the feature table) in extensive detail.
Live streams from live poker tournaments are better than they’ve ever been these days with:
- Amazing table graphics and HD quality streams with few glitches
- Exposed hole cards and winning percentage as the hand progresses
- in-depth analysis and (often hilarious) commentary from expert poker players
- Password-protected freerolls and promotions given out to viewers
- Pro interviews and replays of major hands or past events
In short: it’s a poker fan’s dream and truly one of the greatest innovations the poker tournament industry has ever seen. And it’s not only the high-stakes, High Rollers events you can watch online as mid and low-stakes poker series have jumped into the streaming games as well. If you want a full picture of where to watch the best live poker tournaments, check our poker live stream page here:
Among the rotating streams you’ll find featured there with daily live tournament coverage:
- WSOP Europe
- European Poker Tour
- 888Live Tour
- partypoker Live
- Triton High Roller Series
- Aria Super High Roller Bowl
- Unibet Live Tour
- WSOP Circuit
- WPT Deepstacks
- US Poker Open
- Battle of Malta
If you have a poker live stream you’d like featured on the live streams page, let us know via our Contact Us Page.
Live Poker Tournaments – WSOP
The greatest and most iconic live poker tournament series in the world, the World Series of Poker, is also now available to watch and to qualify for online.
Full live streams with commentary are available for most events over the summer now via their streaming partner, PokerCentral and PokerGO.
Monthly fees run about $10 and you can subscribe yearly as well. You can also of course watch the WSOP Main Event play out live (and on delay) every summer on ESPN.
As mentioned above you can qualify online for the WSOP both in the United States where online poker is legalized (currently New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware + Pennsylvania, West Virginia to come) and in other countries around the world.
If you’d like to learn more about the history and results of the World Series of Poker, our dedicated World Series of Poker page has year-by-year reports of all WSOPs since its origin in 1970 along with a list of players that have won past WSOP Main Events, all Main Event final table participants, the total prize pools for the Main Event and more.
There are also historical WSOP hands reviewed and analyzed, links to results and recaps from each year plus interviews and videos with some iconic WSOP champions. Jump over there below or via the links on the right:
If you’re looking for more live poker tournaments in Las Vegas, check our Guide to Low-Limit Poker in Las Vegas here:
Live Poker Tournaments – Battle of Malta
The Battle of Malta was the flagship live poker tournament series run by PokerListings before the brand was sold to the Eden Group and Casino Malta in 2018.
Founded in 2012 the first-ever Battle of Malta live poker tournament drew 349 players for a single-elimination freezeout at the Portomaso Casino in Malta. Retired Italian doctor Nicodemo Piccolo claimed the first-ever BoM champions trophy and €35,000.
Since then, however, the Battle of Malta has reached unforeseen heights and broken its record for biggest-ever poker tournament held on Malta in every year of its existence.
It’s also blossomed into full-on poker festival that draws players from virtually every country in Europe and beyond.
The 2018 edition of the Battle of Malta, held in the Eden Arena at the InterContinental Hotel, featured 9 total events and shattered all previous records including:
- Biggest BoM Main Event ever with 3,816 entrants – almost twice the previous record of 2,074.
- Shattered the €1m guarantee with Main Event prize pool of€1,850,760
- Biggest single BoM payout ever at €192,000 (Maxime Canevet)
- Five 6-figure payouts at the final table
- 13,000 tournament entries overall – record for biggest poker festival held on Malta
Celebrity and pro guests at the Battle of Malta over the years have included Patrik Antonius, Boris Becker, Humberto Brenes, Thor Hansen, Pierre Neuville, Fernando Pons, Leo Margets, William Hung, Fabrice Soulier, Anthony Gardner, Tone Damli, Petter Katastrofe, The Dudesons and more. Learn more about the Battle of Malta’s history, past results and how to qualify online via the page below or related links to the right:
Live Poker Tournaments – The Festival Series | 2021
The Festival Series is a new live event tour run by PokerListings in conjunction with many casino and live casino brands. This weeklong celebration brings you the best live poker tournaments and cash games, roulette and blackjack tournaments and competitive sports betting. All in one scene.
The premiere event will take place in Tallinn, Estonia in June 2021, later moving to Bratislava, Slovakia in September 2021. The Series will make several stops in various cities around the world thereafter.
This event hopes to draw players from every corner of the world, no matter their background and bankroll. This is why The Festival in Tallinn has already teamed up with partners like Olympic Park Casino and their online arm Olybet. So players can qualify for the flagship €550 NLH main event and complete event packages through live and online satellites. There will also be satellites at the event itself.
Various poker games and variants will be available to play. Including more obscure 8-Game, Open-face Chinese Poker and Courchevel, alongside your standard Texas Hold’em and Omaha. Sviten Special will be thrown in, unlimited re-entries, no-rake specials, knockouts, “win the button” and more.
What makes this event unique is that there will also be roulette and blackjack main event tournaments running in parallel across multiple days. You’ll compete against other players instead of just the house to run up the biggest stacks at the end of each day.
Full live streams with commentary and live reporting will be available for most events via The Festival Series social channels, including Twitch.
If you’d like to learn more about the event itself, you can follow on Facebook and check out the article below.