At the beginning of the year, PokerStars famously reformed its entire quiver of live tours into one big global poker tour.
The lower buy-in series are now called PokerStars Festivals and the high buy-in "pro" tour has been renamed the PokerStars Global Championships.
The first of these Championships took place in the Bahamas in January and we're now on the brink of the second, which will see the tour’s inaugural event in Panama City.
In fact Latin America will actually see two big poker festivals in March courtesy of PokerStars – the PokerStars Championship Panama and the BSOP in Sao Paolo.
PokerStars Championship Panama
Panama has never been on the famed EPT/NAPT schedule but PokerStars still has ample experience there as it was a stop on the now-defunct Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT).
Poker room primed and ready.
Panama was carefully chosen as a Championship location, though, as PokerStars Live President Edgar Stuchly told PokerListings in a recent interview.
It offers “safety, experience and value," he said while at the same featuring excellent “cash-game options, staff quality and easy accessibility from all directions.”
From March 10-20 there will be 46 events at the first-ever PSC Panama. The main event is a $5,300 NLHE tournament and the location is the Casino Sortis Hotel, Spa & Casino in Panama City.
Outside of the tournaments there’ll also be cash games on offer 24/7. The Sortis offers games starting at $1/$2 and potentially as high as $200/$400.
Tournaments will be offered in all sorts of games and buy-ins. Below is a shortlist of a few highlight events:
- PokerStars Cup: Mar. 15-19, 2017 - $440 - $150k guaranteed
- PokerStars National Championship: Mar. 11-14, 2017 - $1,100 - $400k guaranteed
- PokerStars Championship Main Event: Mar. 14-20, 2017 - $5,300
- PokerStars Championship High Roller: Mar. 18-20, 2017 - $10,300
- PokerStars Championship Super High Roller: Mar. 11-14, 2017 - $50,000
500+ Players Expected
If you’re just coming out of a cold winter the temperature in Panama City in March is usually in the low 30s (Celsius) – as it is all-year round.
The main event is still a couple of weeks away but players such as new PokerStars Team Pro Igor Kurganov, Mike Telker, Dylan Linde, Kitty Kuo, Fabrizio Gonzalez and Faraz Jaka have already secured their places through online satellites.
Online satellites are running day and night until March 5 and we’ll soon see what kind of crowd the PokerStars Championship can attract.
According to Head of Live Poker Operations, Neil Johnson, a field of around 500 players is expected for the Main Event.
Brazil Series of Poker Sao Paolo
Akkari: "The carnival BSOP atmosphere really has to be experienced to be believed."
It seems they've listened. PokerStars has now added another edition of the Brazil Series of Poker (BSOP) and it’s coming back to the Sheraton WTC in Sao Paolo.
26 events will be played over the course of just five days from March 23-28. The main event is a $930 NLHE tournament and you can qualify on PokerStars until March 23 for as little as 33 cents.
Akkari didn’t take long to comment on the announcement and his words convey the level of enthusiasm that continues to drive Brazil’s top players.
“Playing in BSOP is like playing at the Maracanã Stadium for me. In São Paulo, with my supporters, I’ll take it down and keep the BSOP São Paulo title at home!”
“Players attending the BSOP São Paulo can expect a fantastic, professional event. Poker is incredibly popular in Brazil and the carnival BSOP atmosphere really has to be experienced to be believed.”