The last twelve months saw a lot of poker action around the world and it is safe to say that many poker enthusiasts were fortunate enough to take part in them. It is a well-known fact that poker tournaments can get quite repetitive and many people responsible for the organization of poker festivals like to play it safe and stick to the established poker events which are offered every time. However, it is always good to introduce something new and make the player’s experience a little bit more exciting.
In an attempt to spice things up many poker festivals have committed to the agenda of bringing a wide variety of poker events to their participants and this is what made the year of 2017 very exciting in many ways. Big well-known names such as partypoker, PokerStars, the World Series of Poker, and Aussie Millions are putting effort into offering new and improved tournaments and festivals and our team is going to highlight some of the most interesting happenings around the riveting poker festivals which were on offer.
Aussie Millions 2017
The beginning of this year welcomed the 2017 Aussie Millions poker festival which according to the long-term tradition takes place at the Crown Melbourne. From 11th January until 30th all poker players had the chance to measure and compare their poker skills on the felt while many of them were granted with generous payouts in the process. Among the most anticipated events in the rich schedule of the festival were the ANTON Jewellery $100,000 Challenge, which lasted two days, the $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em Shot Clock Six-Max, and, of course, the Main Event of the championship, which featured a buy-in amounting to $10,000. Known for its generous prizes and payouts, the festival did not fail to meet and exceed the expectations of many.
The coveted by many trophy and the largest win in the poker festival went to Shurane Vijayaram, who became the new champ after several days of game. He had a sweet payday amounting to A$1.6 million, but what was even more special than the spectacular cash was the fact that this was his first-ever recorded winning at a live tournament. Only a week prior to the Main Event he won a spot in it through an A$130-rebuy tournament at Crown Casino which then brought him to the culminating event. He played against Ben Heath who has bigger experience in the live tournaments and still, he could not beat the good hand of Vijayaram.
In another poker tournament, Nick Petrangelo emerged victorious among a field of 18 entries. This was the ANTON Jewellery $100,000 Challenge and it managed to attract some of the most well-known players in the poker world, among which Fedor Holz from Germany, who had a year of many winnings, Sam Trickett and Steffen Sontheimer. The first place in the tournament boasted a prize amounting to A$882,000 as well as a precious Aussie Millions ANTON Jewellery ring which was desired by many players. Petrangelo won a heads-up duel against Mike Watson from Canada, who has $10,953,641 in live tournament earnings.
Poker Masters 2017
The inaugural edition of the poker festival took place in the last week of September at Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and in true high-end style, it provided a full schedule of high roller events. The idea behind the new festival was to bring a true generous experience to the poker players and shower them with high roller events which are often scarce during poker festivals. PokerCentral put its efforts into the new idea, so the results were flawless. With buy-ins ranging from $50,000 to $100,000, the payouts were guaranteed to be large.
There were a total of five events, each lasting 2-3 days and many poker pros from around the world had the chance to participate. Steffen Sontheimer from the US managed to win two of the five events and swelled his total live earnings to $4,697,405. The tournaments he dominated were Event #2 $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em, where he won $900,000, and Event #5 $100,000 No-Limit Hold’em where for his excellent performance he received $1,512,000. He claimed the Poker Masters Purple Jacket as well since he had the best performance in the festival. Sontheimer made the final tables of four of the five events, and on the fifth, he bubbled in eighth place.
Throughout this year the renown poker Festival made a total of eight stops around the world, bringing premium level of poker closer to the people. The first one was in Korea, which was also the first-ever PokerStars Festival in Asia, turning the unique city of Incheon, Korea into the hottest location for poker in the world. From 14th July to 24th all enthusiasts had the chance to participate in a wide variety of poker events and showcase their skills. In the meantime, France was also enjoying a lot of poker action as Casino Barriere welcomed the Festival on its premises. The prize pool of the festival amounted to €1 million and this made the participation in it a must for every player.
The PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams in Manila was the next stop for the impressive poker congregation which took place from 28th July to 7th August. Ever since its first event in 2007, PokerStars LIVE has quickly established as an Asian poker hub, regularly hosting the biggest and richest events in the Philippines’ history, as well as action-packed daily cash games. Also known as the Pearl of the Orient, this venue had the chance to host the 21+ poker action. During that time Bucharest was also hosting the Festival which featured a €500,000 guaranteed prize pool at the Main Event.
Right after that Uruguay had the chance to welcome this year’s edition of the PokerStars Festival. Punta del Este and its luxurious Conrad Hotel and Casino provided the much-needed premium poker experience to all players and Team PokerStars pros had the chance to meet many participants from around the world. As for the next stop of the Festival, it was at the Emerald Isle and the fast-paced city of Dublin. From 25th September to 1st October, all players had the chance to show their level of preparation and even participate in the culminating Main Event which boasted a guaranteed prize pool amounting to €700,000.
Sochi was the next stop of the Festival and this year it was the inaugural edition of the poker congregation. From 16th to 22nd October players experienced the real PokerStars thrill. The biggest attraction was, of course, the Main Event which featured $500,000 guaranteed prize pool. There were also must-play events like the $370 PokerStars Sochi Cup, as well as the $2,200 PokerStars Festival High Roller. Another first for the Festival was Hamburg, which hosted it between 17th and 26th November. This was also the last Festival for this year, but the first one for 2018 has already been announced.
The year of 2017 brought many new poker experiences to players from the four corners of the world. With many brand-new offerings, big brands in the poker industry solidified their positions as the leaders in the field and made sure that skillful poker players have the chance to showcase their abilities and amass well-deserved prices at these festivals.