We get to announce a lot of big news on the PokerStars Blog, not least the launch of the PokerStars Championship, but the news today is arguably even more significant, with the announcement that PokerStars will host the biggest event ever held in Russia this coming May, with the PokerStars Championship Sochi at the Sochi Casino & Resort.
The Championship, which runs from May 20-31, will bring dozens of exciting poker tournaments to Russia's premier holiday resort, including a guaranteed PokerStars Championship Main Event prize pool worth RUB 150,000,000 (approx. $2,600,000), the largest guaranteed prize pool ever featured in a Russian poker tournament.
Sochi ranks as one of Russia's most glamourous destinations, which underwent a transformation for the Winter Olympics in 2014. Not only famous for its beaches and nightlife, its beautiful mountainous coastline is excellent for skiing, which makes it already a popular holiday destination. It's with this backdrop that the PokerStars Championship Sochi will take place, arguably the most exciting addition to the new PokerStars Championship maiden season.
This brand new Championship will boast a full schedule of familiar events over 11 days, including the following highlights:
• No Limit Hold'em: May 20-22 - RUB 618,000 (approx. $10,860)
• PokerStars National Championship: May 20-25 - RUB 66,000 (approx. $1,160)
• PokerStars Championship Super High Roller: May 23-25 - RUB 3,000,000 (approx. $50,700)
• PokerStars National High Roller: May 24-25 - RUB 132,000 (approx. $2,320)
• PokerStars Championship Main Event: May 25-31 - RUB 318,000 (approx. $5,590) - RUB 150,000,000 Guarantee
• No Limit Hold'em Single Day: May 26 - RUB 1,530,000 (approx. $26,880)
• PokerStars Championship PLO High Roller: May 27-28 - RUB 618,000 (approx. $10,860)
• PokerStars Championship High Roller: May 29-31 - RUB 618,000 (approx. $10,860)
A host of Team PokerStars Pros will make the trip to Sochi, including new addition to the Team Igor Kurganov.
"I'm excited to see PokerStars first ever sponsored live event in Russia and will be competing in the events, of course. I am interested to see the area after the massive investments it has received for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Sochi itself is a summer/ beach destination but I hope to make it out to the gorgeous and very close mountain region of Krasnaya Polyana, too!"
PokerStars Director of Live Events Edgar Stuchly added his thoughts on the news.
"Sochi is a premier location for hosting world class events and we are looking forward to bringing PokerStars Championship Sochi to this exciting location. With its vast array of 5-star hotels, outdoor activities, and 300 sunny days a year, alongside a brand new casino, Sochi is fast becoming a prime vacation spot and gaming destination, all in one."
Just like any other PokerStars championship or Festival, PokerStars players can win a package to Sochi online, not least in $8 buy-in Spin & go tournaments, currently running on PokerStars. Players can also qualify for PokerStars Championship Sochi through special satellites from today on PokerStars.com.
The event, organised by Sochi Casino & Resort, promises to be a fantastic opportunity to play big money live poker with all the excitement that a PokerStars Championship brings, including full TV and webcast coverage, a host of celebrities and Team PokerStars Pros in attendance, and much more to entertain players and visitors.
It's the start of a new era for PokerStars Events. We hope you'll join us.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog. Follow him on Twitter: @StephenBartley. What did you think about this post? Let us know on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.