PokerStars Festival London: Kick-off with the £2,000 High Roller

Good afternoon everybody and welcome to London for a good old Cockney poker knees up to shake away the winter blues.

You join us for the first PokerStars Festival of 2017 and only the second ever, after the shindig in New Jersey at the end of last year. We are in the PokerStars LIVE card-room at the Hippodrome Casino, Leicester Square, a location so central that the Queen once popped in for some £2/£5 PLO while Prince Phillip stood transfixed by a levitating Yoda statue on the street outside. ("How do they do it?")

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Inside the Hippodrome Casino

This week, we'll mainly be focused on hold'em and kick off today with Day 1 of the £2,200 High Roller event, which starts at 3pm. The £990 Main Event starts tomorrow and runs until Sunday. It has a £400,000 guarantee.

Today's tournament is scheduled to run for two days, and will play eight-handed throughout. Levels are 40 minutes long, with a 15-minute break after Levels 3, 9 and 11 and a 75-minute dinner break at the end of Level 6. They will play 13 levels today.

One other significant point: this is a single re-entry tournament allowing players to fire a total of £4,400 at it, should they desire. There's a starting stack of 30,000, which is 300 big blinds at the start of play, but things can go wrong very quickly, as we all know.

Registration is open until 8.30pm, which is the start of Level 7 (and the end of the dinner break). That is also the permitted re-entry period.

Our friends at Poker News are providing live updates from the tournament floor, so you can keep abreast of all the goings on with them. We'll have news, interviews and feature pieces here on PokerStars Blog throughout the week.

All the information is also available on the PokerStars Festival London page. That also details the full schedule of side events.

Key tournament facts:

£2,000 High Roller (single re-entry)

Dates: January 24-25, 2017
Buy-in: £2,000 + £200 (re-entry: £2,000 + £200)
Registration/re-entry open until: Start of Level 7 (8.30pm)

Starting stack: 30,000
Level 1 blinds: 50/100

Live updates: via Poker News

Main Event begins on Wednesday

Howard Swains
@howardswains in Live Poker