PokerStars Championship Sochi: Where in the world?
Our arrival to Sochi this week represents our fifth stop of the PokerStars Championship era.
In case you haven't been paying attention, we've watched Christian Harder prevail in the Bahamas in January, before Kenny Smaron laid Panama to waste in March, Elliot Smith won the Macau marathon in April and then Raffaele Sorrentino won his first major title in Monte Carlo.
That's two Americans, one Canadian and an Italian prevailing in four countries nowhere near their homes. Even Sorrentino, whose native Italy all but borders Monaco, travelled miles to the scene of his success. He divides his time between Malta and Mexico.
Such, of course, is the life of the modern poker pro. Travel is all part of the process. But it got us thinking at PokerStars Blog HQ, where should a live tournament pro base him or herself to cut travel to a minimum? In the purely hypothetical world where someone determines their home by its access to PokerStars Championship events, where should they be?
In short, what we're asking is this: where is the midpoint of the PokerStars Championship series?
The place to start, it turns out, is a website called Geo Midpoint. This handy site allows you to plug in a series of destinations across the world and then figures out the geographic mid-point.
Based on the five stops so far--The Bahamas, Panama, Macau, Monaco and Sochi--you'd be best off getting yourself an oil rig and setting it up in the North Atlantic, a few miles off the south coast of Iceland. Your nearest town is a place called Vik, where you could end up becoming its 292nd inhabitant.
Good news: it has a beautiful beach. Bad news: it is one of the wettest places in Iceland. (If you take a look at the map above, you can see the Faroe Islands aren't far away, and that's the north tip of Scotland appearing at the bottom right of the screen. So you have options.)
But, looking ahead, there is also a PokerStars Championship booked for Barcelona in August, so time to think ahead. Maybe up sticks in the oil rig and bring it a little closer to Ireland. The map below shows the mid point of the first six events, including Barcelona.
But here's a weird one. Let's call this the great PokerStars conspiracy of the year. Although no other Championship events have yet been confirmed, I'll be absolutely amazed if we don't end up back in Prague at some point. (I must stress, I have no knowledge that you don't; I'm just basing it on what seems likely.) And if we do head back to the Czech Republic at Christmas time, the mid-point of the PokerStars Championship series lands miraculously in the Irish Sea.
Belfast is a few miles to the west, but look at that landmass hovering to the east. That, folks, is the Isle of Man, home of PokerStars itself (see video below.) Is this all just a conspiracy to cut down on travel miles for the PokerStars staff at HQ?