Plenty to be cheerful about this weekend on PokerStars
Five things from this week on PokerStars.
1. Results galore
It was a typically busy week both online and live. As Vicates was winning the Sunday Million, and collecting a first prize of $131,000, the APPT Manila Main Event was concluding at the City of Dreams.
It would be Linh Tran who triumphed ahead of British pro Sam Razavi, collecting a first prize of ₱6,135,000. Marc Convey and Brad Kain were in position with live updates from start to finish which you can still enjoy on our APPT coverage page. It also included the final report from Manila.
That was followed shortly after by the Super Tuesday, won this week by prallimall. Martin Harris has the full report.
While you're at it, MicroMillions winner JiiJay spoke to us about his win in the MM Main Event. Brad Willis's piece is a great read and is worth remembering the next time you think all (or at least the late entry period) is lost. You can read it here.
2. The long wait is over - the EPT is back!
January might be the start of the calendar year, but August is the start of the poker year. That's when the European Poker Tour begins its new season, and this year is no different.
We're now only a matter of days away from the start of the 13th season which kicks off in the usual way in Barcelona next week.
A full festival of events promises to strain the very walls of Casino Barcelona, starting on Wednesday with the Estrellas Main Event and a high roller, and concluding on August 28 with the EPT Main Event and another High Roller.
In between there are a host of other events, in formats and buy-ins to suit the thousands of players who descend on the Catalan coast for one of the most popular poker festivals in the world.
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As ever the PokerStars Blog will be providing live updates from start to finish, with coverage of the biggest events. There's no need to miss anything, European Poker Tour yourself or watching from home.
3. The long wait is over - WCOOP is also back!
It gets better.
While we don't want to wish away the Barcelona season opener, when it concludes at the end of this month it will give way to yet another season highlight at the start of next month, the World Championship of Online Poker. Think of it as New Year following Christmas!
As we announced this week on the PokerStars Blog, the new schedule has been released, with 80 events (12 more than 2015) making up WCOOP 2016. And while the individual guarantees are yet to be confirmed (they'll be available in the coming weeks) it's set to make September a bountiful month.
It all starts on Sunday September 4, with events every day until Monday September 26. It will culminate with a new WCOOP champion. We'll have reports from each event, as well as player interviews and a daily report on each day's action.
4. #EPTNotLive is back as well!
Finally, after a summer hiatus the #EPTNotLive podcast is back, thank goodness. We'll let the team introduce it...
"With only a week to go until the start of the new EPT season, the podcast is back! James and Joe talk about what they've been up to over the summer, and continue their painful row about Twitter verification that's been running since EPT Dublin in February.
"There's also a summary of what's happened in the poker world during the last six weeks, including the WSOP Main Event. Griffin Benger joins the boys to talk about making the November Nine (or October Octet +1) and his infamous run in with EPT fan favourite/villain William Kassouf. Finally, Zach Whigham from Georgia is tested on his knowledge of the US version of The Office in 'Superfan vs Stapes'.
"Want to compete on the show? Please let us know. #EPTNotLive"
5. Vote Somerville 2016
While WCOOP will be enjoyed by thousands upon thousands of PokerStars players, not everyone will be able to play - a frustration put eloquently by Team Pro Jason Somerville this week, who took the legislative poker fight to the TV screens in the United States this week.
Somerville, known for his enormously popular Run It Up Twitch stream, as well as for his performances as a professional player, appeared on CNBC this week, and wrote a piece for the Blog urging fellow poker players in the US to get involved in the campaign to legalise poker across the country.
Somerville's campaign is one we fully support, and one that we hope our American readers will do too. Get all the details by reading Jason's post here .
That's all for this week. Good luck to everyone playing on PokerStars this weekend, whether that's in the Majors or micro stakes games. Send your thoughts and comments to us on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog. Follow him on Twitter: @StephenBartley.