PokerStars Festival Hamburg: The High Rollers get the ball rolling

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Guten tag everyone, and welcome to Hamburg for the first PokerStars Festival stop on German soil.

We've been busy this year, having already visited Festivals in London, Rozvadov (almost German soil), Vina Del Mar in Chile, Marbella, Seoul, Manila, Punta del Este in Uruguay, Bucharest, and Sochi. Now it's time to crown another High Roller and Main Event champion before we head to Prague for the last stop of 2017.

Today we're kicking off proceedings with the two-day €2,200 High Roller (the Main Event begins tomorrow). The action started at 4pm, and with a cap of just 80 players there were plenty of people who turned up early to ensure they got a seat.

The starting stack is 30,000 and blinds begin at just 50/100, so there's going to be plenty of play throughout today's 12 40-minute levels. There is a one-hour dinner break scheduled after Level 6 (so roughly 8:15pm), and registration closes when they return (9:15pm). There is one optional re-entry for each player up until that point.

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The Casino Schenefeld poker room

The location of all the action is the Casino Schenefeld - a rarity in the card room world as it actually has enormous glass windows letting in some much needed natural light. We'll be here every day for the next week bringing you feature content from both the High Roller and the Main Event, including player interviews and all the highlights from the tables.

At the time of writing there are 58 runners, including two former EPT winners. Denmark's Frederik Jensen, who took down EPT8 Madrid for €495,000 back in 2012, is out in the field, and joining him is EPT4 Warsaw champ Michael Schulze. He may only have three recorded cashes on his resume, but who cares about that when one of them was worth $926,220?

Also in the mix we have Jan von Halle, a veteran of the German poker scene whose career cashes date back to 2001, and Jamila von Perger, who has racked up almost $400,000 in live cashes. Andrey Andreev, Daniel Belov, Wilhelm Isaak, Walid Abdi Ali, and Peyman Luth have also showed up early.

As for the €1,100 Main Event, that comes with a massive €500,000 guarantee. If you're thinking of playing either Wednesday's Day 1A, Thursday's Day 1B, or Friday's Day 1C/1D flights, bear in mind that play starts at 1pm and each flight is capped at 200 runners. Make sure you get here on time to secure your seat.

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Check back in with us over the next six days for all of the latest developments. If you'd rather follow along with the action as it happens, check in with our friends at PokerNews.

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Jack Stanton
@J_W_Stanton in Live Poker