The Poker Player's Guide to PokerStars Championship Macau
The beguiling island city of Macau plays host to the next leg of the PokerStars Championship as the globetrotting tour touches down for its third stop from March 30 to April 9.
Macau, which is a short ferry ride from the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong, is a magnet for gamblers as it's the only place in China where casinos are legal.
Macau's Cotai Strip is the equivalent of the Las Vegas Strip connecting the islands of Taipa and Coloane and is where the gleaming casino mega-resorts loom large.
The inaugural PokerStars Championship Macau will kick off in the PokerStars Live Macau poker room housed in City of Dreams, Macau's premier entertainment hub.
This renowned poker room, which first flung open its doors in 2008, has hosted some of the Far East's richest and most prestigious poker tournaments, including the Macau Poker Cup 'Red Dragon' series, the Macau Millions, the Asia Championship of Poker and the Asia Pacific Poker Tour.
You can rest assured the staff there know how to stage world-class poker events.
"As a poker player, PokerStars LIVE City of Dreams is just that - a dream," said Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier. "It has the most comfortable chairs, tables and a great setup, all ran by the very professional and experienced staff of PokerStars. Add that to a huge schedule of tournaments and I can't wait to get back there."
In terms of the action on the felt, the HK$42,000 Main Event (US$1 = HK$7.76), kicks off April 3 and runs until April 9.
Other key event highlights to put on your calendar include the HK$103,000 High Roller from April 7-9 and the HK$82,400 PLO High Roller from April 5-9. The HK$400,000 NLHE Super High Roller starts April 1 and concludes April 3.
PokerStars LIVE Macau also offers cash games to suit all limits. It's worth noting that although the Macanese pataca is the local currency, the Hong Kong dollar is ubiquitous and widely accepted in casinos, including City of Dreams and PokerStars LIVE Macau.
Visitors to this former Portuguese colony, which enjoys near autonomy as a Special Administrative Region of China and has its own dialect called Macanese Portuguese, will experience a place like no other.
As the gambling epicenter of the world, Macau has evolved into one of the globe's most unique and vibrant cities with some of the finest hotels, restaurants and bars all within reach.
The fusion of Chinese and Portuguese influences in Macau adds an interesting twist. Away from the poker tables and gaming floors, players will never be short of things to do and see during their stay.
"Macau is the very definition of a unique experience," said Edgar Stuchly, director of live events at PokerStars, with a smile. "Visitors to Macau will find enough similarities to Vegas to feel comfortable, but enough new offerings to provide a good opportunity to explore something new and exciting. I look forward to the PokerStars Championship being able to show a whole new audience all that Macau has to offer."
Players can qualify for the PokerStars Championship Macau via satellites for as little as $1.10. A $530 direct qualifier with a full package is up for grabs on Sundays at 1:00 p.m. ET. To discover the latest satellite schedules, visit the PokerStars lobby and click on Events > Live > Asia > Macau.
Travel essentials for Macau
Time zone: +8 hours GMT
Average temperatures in March and April: 18°C and 22°C
Average rainfall in March and April: 50 mm and 80 mm
Currency: Macanese pataca, though Hong Kong dollars are widely accepted
Dialing code: +853
Visas: Residents of many countries, including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and many Asian and European countries do not require a visa
Legal gambling age: 21
Getting to Macau: The most popular option is to fly into Hong Kong International Airport before hopping on a ferry to Macau, which takes one hour and costs between HK$180-300.