PokerStars Festival Dublin: The Main Event begins
Good morning everybody and welcome to Ireland for the PokerStars Festival Dublin, from the Regency Hotel, Drumcondra.
Although tournaments began on Monday, today is when competition really hots up with Day 1A of the €1,100 PokerStars Festival Main Event. Local sources told us last night that players in the city have been anticipating this one for a while, keeping the buy-in money to one side ahead of what they'll hope will be a deep run this week.
With a €700,000 guaranteed prize pool, it makes sense.
This is a four-day event--with a couple of quirks. They play Day 1A today and Day 1B tomorrow (Friday), then anybody knocked out from those two opening flights can have another crack in a turbo-style Day 1C, which gets under way at 9.30pm on Friday.
Levels are 20-minutes long for Day 1C and there's a total of of four hours play. A reminder, though: this is only open to players who have already played, and been knocked out, on either Day 1A or Day 1B.
After that, they then rattle through Days 3 and 4 over the weekend, ending with a champion some time on Sunday night.
With more than 700 players expected, it may well mean some late nights and some nerve-shredding pots being played.
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The bare bones of the proposed schedule are as follows:
Buy-in: €1,000 + €100
Starting chips: 30,000
Day 1A & 1B: 12 x 45-minute levels (no dinner break)
Day 1C: 12 x 20-minute levels (re-entry only)
Day 2: 10 x 60-minute levels (dinner break after level 18)
Day 3: 60-minute levels, play to a champion
All this information is available on the PokerStars Live Dublin schedule page.
It's also worth mentioning that there's a €150 + €20 Main Event satellite starting at 7pm tonight, with 10 seats guaranteed. That's a re-entry event.
The headline attraction in today's field will be Chris Moneymaker, the 2003 World Series of Poker Champion and Team PokerStars Pro. Mr Moneymaker will be available to sign autographs and take your chips throughout the day.
Later on, we also have a grudge-match media tournament in which seven-time World Snooker Champion Stephen Hendry will play alongside fellow World Champion Ken Doherty. It's poker rather than snooker, and there will be a bunch of straggling media also involved, but the two rivals are already trading blows.
Doherty reportedly said he is "looking forward to kicking Hendry's arse" in front of Doherty's home crowd. We may peer over the table later on for that one.
But in the meantime stick around for interviews and feature articles from us, then hand-by-hand coverage via Poker News.