Targetting the Belgian Poker Challenge
I've been playing a lot online lately, but my attention is turning back toward the live game because the Belgian Poker Challenge is here and I'm excited!
I'm attending the entire festival which is taking place 24 November - 1 December here in Namur, Belgium. It's an annual event and always brings out a lot of interest among Belgian players. This year the BPC Namur Main Event is a €1,500 tournament sponsored by PokerStars with the winner being hailed as the Belgian poker champion.
I played a number of satellites on PokerStars for the Main Event and in fact won three times, which is great because it is a re-entry event so I've got three buy-ins to use if I happen to bust out. Last year I finished seventh in the event after having a horrible first bullet, then buying back in and making that deep run.
In addition to the cash prizes and the chance to be called the Belgian poker champion, the BPC events -- including the side events -- also have points awarded toward a ranking system of Belgian players, so it's nice to get those points and move up the rankings, especially being a Team PokerStars Pro from Belgium!
I really like these ranking systems -- including ones like the Global Poker Index -- which give a good idea of how players are doing not just in one tournament, but overall.
I think those systems help make poker seem like more of a sport and less like simply gambling, and thus highlight the skill of the game a little more. They show how being good at poker really has to do more with the long term - including trying to play your A-game as much as possible in many events as well as being able to practice smart bankroll management - than with winning or doing well in a single event.
It's very cool, too, to see yourself going up and down in the rankings - more so up than down, of course! - as well as how others are doing. The rankings give fans and those who follow the game a clue about who is really doing well, too.
Speaking of those Belgian rankings, I've actually been getting a lot of scores in Belgium lately. I think I've cashed in two out of three events I've played here over the past year. And back in April, Matthias also won the BPC Middelkerke Main Event for €53,459, so we've both been making our mark here of late.
In addition to providing some extra motivation to perform well, there are also prizes being awarded to those who top the Belgian rankings, which makes for even more incentive. I think they also help show that even though poker is about the money, it's also about the competition and wanting to do well and make a name for yourself.
All of which is to say, the Belgian Poker Challenge offers lots of great challenges to poker players. Bring them on!
Christophe de Meulder is a member of Team PokerStars pro.