PokerStars Festival Korea: Location, location, location
What better way to accompany a new PokerStars Festival than with a new venue. And I don't just mean the venue is new to hosting poker, or new for PokerStars, the entire Paradise City facility is brand new, having only opened in April.
Paradise City now exists as the first integrated casino and resort in not only South Korea but the whole of Northeast Asia. It's hailed as an art-tainment resort - "The birth of a new city that transcends reality and imagination where past and future coexist."
Exploring the impressive complex full of luxurious suites, pool villas, fine dining restaurants, bars, and convention centres, it's easy to understand why. On top of that, the grand walkways from one section to the next are filled with artwork from around the world.
One person who was spotted admiring the art was notable poker pro Bryan Huang. He took to Instagram to share the piece below with his followers.
There is so much to say about the venue, but what we're here for is poker, and Paradise City has that covered in spades. The casino within the facility has one of the largest floor spaces in South Korea and the poker room is nestled perfectly between an overlooking bar and adjacent restaurant.
In my experience, casinos are notoriously expensive, but poker players are well looked after here with meals for around $5 and beer (more importantly) just $3 a bottle. Whether it's consolation drinks after taking a bad beat or celebratory rounds for bagging up a big stack, Paradise City won't break the bankroll.
Paradise City poker room director Dom Choi initially used one word to describe the resort - "extravagant." He went on to explain how he feels the place speaks for itself and recommended I wander around to take it all in. Having done so now I pass that recommendation on to all the players in town for the PokerStars Festival or anyone who decides to make the trip in the future.
And the convenience-flavoured icing on the cake? Paradise City is located only a few minutes from the international airport. There isn't much more you can ask for.
Inside this prestigious casino there are 33 players still in contention on Day 1A of the Main Event. They've just returned from a dinner break and have two hours left until the survivors bag and tag for the night. When that happens we'll have a full recap of today's proceedings right here on the PokerStars Blog. Stay tuned!