Can't stop, won't stop: PokerStars Championship headed to Monaco
Oh, you thought we were tired after the 12-hour heads-up match in Macau? You thought we didn't have it in us to get right back on the road? You thought we wouldn't be so crazy as to jump right back on the horse?
Well, think again, folks, because we're already ready to roll for the next stop. Set your GPS for Monte Carlo, because that's where we're headed next.
In just a couple of weeks, we're going to the Monte-Carlo Casino on the French Riviera for the PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo. There we expect to find €30 million in prize money, 71 tournaments, shot clock events, and a whole bunch of fun activities off the felt.
Running between April 25 and May 5, you will find those tournaments which will include €2.5 million in total guaranteed prize pools. Among those will be the €1 million guaranteed €1,100 PokerStars National Championship, formerly known as the France Poker Series (FPS) Main Event. Last year, the FPS event had a total of 1,261 entries (without the re-entry flight option), and last year's Monte Carlo Main Event had a total of 1,098 entries.
While our focus will always be on the poker, yours doesn't have to be. Over the course of the two weeks we're there, there are going to be some pretty cool things you can do on the side.
How fun? Well, you can drive a Ferrari, play tennis against Fatima Moreira de Melo and Vanessa Selbst, chat with Daniel Negreanu, and party with all the pros inside of one trip.
Check out the Stars Fun page for all you can do while in Monaco.
But, yes. Poker!
You know all about that, right? If not, here are some of the highlights.
PokerStars Open: May 3-5, 2017 - €220 (€50,000 guaranteed)
PokerStars Cup: April 26-29, 2017 - €440 (€200,000 guaranteed)
PokerStars National Championship: April 26-30, 2017 - €1,100 (€1,000,000 guaranteed)
PokerStars National High Roller: April 28-29, 2017 - €2,200
PokerStars Championship Main Event: April 29-May 5, 2017 - €5,300
Opening NLH: April 25-27, 2017 - €10,300
PLO: May 1-2, 2017 - €10,300
PokerStars Championship High Roller: May 3-5, 2017 - €25,750 (€1,000,000 1st place guaranteed - part of PokerStars Makes Millionaires)
Single day NLH: April 30, 2017 - €50,000
PokerStars Championship Super High Roller: April 27-29, 2017 - €100,000 (€1,000,000 1st place guaranteed - part of PokerStars Makes Millionaires)
What's more, the shot clock is sticking around. The event organizers plan to use a shot clock in all NL Hold'em events with a buy-in of €5,000 and higher (except the Main Event). What's more, some of the lower buy-in events will use the shot clock, too.
"The shot clock format has not only been accepted, but welcomed by the high stakes community," said Daniel Negreanu. "This is a big win for both poker players and fans across the globe who enjoy watching our live streams."
Finally, PokerStars is going to experiment with forgoing ten-handed tournaments and running nine-handed tables instead.
We know you are excited, and so are we. So, we're planning to party while we're there.
Mark your calendars for the PokerStars party at the Med Garden on April 29 starting at 9 pm. There you can have some free drinks, and, if you are so inclined, watch the big Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko fight.
There will also be a special reception for online qualifiers April 28 in the Blue Gin Bar at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel. This is an exclusive session for online qualifiers to meet and speak to some of the world's best players.
Finally (and you really shouldn't miss this), on April 29, Negreanu is going to be hosting one of his famous Q&A sessions where you can learn about tournament strategy, Kid Poker, and everything else he knows.
Still not convinced?
The PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo €5,300 Main Event field is expected to have more than 170 qualifiers, including players who managed to turn just €10 into a €8,500 prize package via special edition Spin & Go tournaments. What's more, more than 90 players have also qualified so far for this year's €1,100 PokerStars National Championship event.
You can still get in on the cheap in satellites starting from as little as €2.20. Moreover, PokerStars is offering a live 30-seat guaranteed Mega Qualifier to the PokerStars Championship Main Event and a 50-seat guaranteed live satellite for the €1 million guaranteed National Championship during the event. Both will take place at the Monte-Carlo Casino on April 25 at 4pm.
And as if that's not enough, anyone who is playing in the PokerStars sponsored National Championship who has previously won an FPS Main Event tournament in the past will automatically be entered into a special PokerStars Last Longer with a €1,100 PokerStars Live Event credit up for grabs. European Poker Tour Main Event title holders taking part in the Main Event will automatically be part of a special Last Longer where the last remaining EPT winner will win a €5,300 PokerStars Live Event credit.
Sound good? Then come with us!
For full details, visit the PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo page.
See you there!
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging. Follow him on Twitter: @BradWillis.