The PokerStars diet of cake and ice cream
If a PokerStars weekend was a diet fad, it wouldn't be one to get you healthy any time soon. Let' face facts. We don't do kale, we do treats. We don't do moderation, we binge. And while this weekend promises a meat and two vegetables kind of menu, we made sure to throw in cake and ice cream along the way. We're like your favourite uncle.
I can't promise this dubious analogy won't reappear below, but let me explain.
First off let' get the formalities out of the way. You'll find everything you usually find taking place this weekend. That means all the weekend majors and the Sunday Million to cap it all off. Last weekend that went to CantWinAFlip who despite brazenly misleading us with his username took a first prize of $174,951.74 to headline the weekend.
Whatever the current size of your bank roll there's plenty that will satisfy even the modest competitive urge, and there are satellites to get you a seat to the big ones for a fraction of the prize. Open up the PokerStars client, find the tournament lobby and enjoy having a look around.
Talking of the Sunday Million....
Sunday Million tenth anniversary
We're now just a week away from what could turn out to be the biggest Sunday Million ever held. It's the tenth anniversary so we've kept the numbers simple: A prize pool of $10 million and $1 million to the winner.
In terms of structure everything remains the same, but we've made a couple of temporary tweaks. The buy in is still $215 but if you're knocked out within the first three hours of play (before registration closes) you can re-enter up to three times. Whether that promotes prudence or recklessness remains to be seen, but either way it will be quite the event. Win it and you'll be telling your grandchildren about it.
You can get details on the Sunday Million Tenth Anniversary homepage, along with information on how to qualify. You'll also find details of various bonus codes to take advantage of that will earn you a freeroll ticket. It's one thing to turn $215 into $1 million, something else entirely to do the same with $0.
That's not the only guarantee we're making right now. This week we announced details of the first $1 million freeroll on PokerStars, which takes place a day before the Sunday Million Anniversary, on Saturday March 19 at 13:04 ET.
Entry is open to every real money player on PokerStars, although you have to qualify first.
To do that you must enter one of our 90-player Sit & Go qualifiers, which are running around the clock. From each Sit & Go the top nine players will advance, with the freeroll itself capped at 100,000 players.
Want to take part and play in the $1 million guarantee freeroll? Click here to get a PokerStars account.
To get a ticket simply open your Challenges window and opt-in. To release your ticket just play one hand of real money poker - at any stakes, and in either a cash game or a tournament. If you miss out first time round you can get a second ticket by depositing $20 or more using the bonus code "MILLION1". Get all the details of that event on the Freeroll homepage.
It proved a week for appropriate and inappropriate names. First there was CantWinAFlip in the Sunday Million, who won flips, and more to take the title. It seems only wise to counsel against taking on players with usernames like "humblepiemmmm" or "OhFFS101!" this weekend.
Of course in the real world people play it straight. Who knows if somewhere in the poker world there are struggling players called Trevor Weak, Pete Passive or Lionel Loose. But there is a Rodrigo Strong, and he won the LAPT Chile this week for $120,565.
Jack Stanton and Will O'Connor were on hand to watch his show of strength, and their reports and updates are well worth a read even if we just spoiled it by telling you the result.
While the LAPT might eclipse the Eureka Main Event in Rozvadov for prize money, in terms of a story it nudged them at the line.
That was thanks to Ivan Luca's victory in the Main Event. There's no doubting the immense talent of Luca, a regular high roller and bracelet winner from last year. But this time it was not the win that caught the imagination exactly, but his heads up opponent - his girlfriend Maria Lampropoulos.
I'm not sure I've ever seen anything quite like this in ten years covering poker. In the old days of the EPT Patrick Antonius was once moved to another table after his wife was moved to a vacant seat opposite. That's not really a practical policy at a final table.
But in this case any such problems were pushed aside by the unique story of a great final table, told in typically compelling style by our man Nick Wright, whose reports you can read here. It's also worth mentioning that, in an age where it seems everyone is entitled to get involved in a winner's photo; Luca's win produced the most genuine one we've seen for a long time.
Luca and Lampropoulos will be likely contenders at the EPT Grand Final, still some six weeks away. But while that's still a ways off, the business of winning seats to the season finale has already started, and in fantastic style.
As we wrote earlier this week a seat to the EPT Grand Final Main Event costs €5,300, but any number of our satellites can slash that price. Now though, our new Spin & Go promotion will slash the price to as little as €10, and the time it takes to win it to a matter of minutes.
We launched this promo yesterday and already eight players have booked their ticket to Monaco. Remember that each package is worth €9,000. That includes your main event seat, accommodation for you and a guest at the Monte Carlo Bay Resort, as well as travel expenses. For €10 and ten minutes of your time, it's the best ticket in town, and you have until April 10 to give it a spin... so to speak.
EPT Not Live
While there is no EPT Live to keep us busy this month you get more form the #EPTNotLive team. We'll let those guys tell you what's in store this week...
"Joe Stapleton is in the closet. Literally. He whispers his way through the show, as he broadcasts from his temporary "home" in Los Angeles. The boys kick things off with a major Social Media Beef, before breaking down the first two episodes of the EPT 11 Grand Final (available to watch at pokerstars.tv). These TV shows feature a random Craig David gag, and showcase the talents of Ole Schemion, Maria Ho and Ludovic Geilich - who was booked to appear as the guest on this week's podcast, but never showed up. There's a reminder of the Club ID and Invitation Code for the #EPTLive Home Game Club, plus a preview of the UKIPT London festival, before Lucas Summers demonstrates his knowledge of 'Back to the Future' in 'Superfan vs Stapes'. #EPTNotLive"
Listen to #EPTNotLive on the relevant links below:
Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.
So let's see now... that's $10 million guaranteed in the Anniversary Sunday Million next weekend, a $1 million freeroll next week, and a Grand Final package worth €9,000 for €10. That is a lot of cake and ice cream. But what the hell, it's worth it.
Play well on PokerStars this weekend. As always send any thoughts and comments to us on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.