Poker players have been seeing the logo pop up on social media for weeks before the details behind PartyPoker LIVE were finally revealed. Pegged as a new live global tour with the plan to make millionaires of its players, the LIVE series will traverse the globe in 2017.
While much of the tour has yet to be announced, several details have been confirmed. The headliner of the year will be the PartyPoker Millions, and the first stop of LIVE will be in Montreal, Canada, in May. Meanwhile, players have reasons to get excited about the tour now.
What is PartyPoker Millions?
This was actually launched in the fall of 2016, but it seems to have been a precursor to the LIVE announcement, since the new tour uses the Millions theme as its focus.
The PartyPoker Millions was a new concept introduced last year as a mix of online and live poker for a massive tournament guaranteeing millions of dollars in the prize pool. The tournament consists of three phases, the first of which hosts online versions every Tuesday and Sunday and live events at Dusk Till Dawn casino in the UK. Players can satellite in or buy in for £550 for 100K chips, and they must last 19 levels online or 14 levels live to garner a seat into the big tournament.
The second phase of the tournament is Day 1, which includes all Phase 1 survivors and anyone buying in for £5,300 to get one million chips. This will take place online on April 9 and 16 or live at Dusk Till Dawn, and those ending the phase with chips will then play Day 2 live at Dusk Till Dawn, and the remainder of the tournament plays live there as well from April 20-23. All in all, there is £6 million guaranteed in the prize pool at present, with £1 million of that promised to the winner.
This will be a big part of the LIVE action in 2017.
In Keeping with the Million Theme…
There will be multiple PartyPoker Million events on the LIVE tour, though the aforementioned Millions is the basis for it all and the first event to show off the new offerings.
The Playground Poker Club will host a major stop on the new North American aspect of the tour. Players will be able to win satellites online or buy in for $5K to the PartyPoker Million at Playground in Montreal, which will feature a CAD $5 million prize pool guarantee and CAD $1 million out of that amount for the winner. The process of qualifying for the event mimics that of the Millions listed above, with Phase 1 and Day 1 both offering live and online action and Day 2 going live in Canada through to the finish of the event.
Phase 1 is already underway for only a CAD $550 buy-in, and Day 1 action begins online on April 23 and 30 or live on May 5-6. Day 2 then begins on May 7 until the final day on May 10.
Another part of the tour, which will be on display in Montreal, will be the non-poker action for players and guests. While cash games will be a part of the experience, there will be other activities, including a player party, complete with an open bar, DJ, and dance floor.
The PartyPoker Million Sochi, however, will occur even earlier in 2017. Action will be centered around the newly-opened Sochi Casino and Resort in Russia on the Black Sea with a $1 million guarantee and $200K of that set aside for the winner. This is different due to the lack of a Phase 1, but the Day 1 action begins online and live in mid-March with the live Day 2 and 3 play set for March 26-27 in Sochi.
A Tour Inclusive of Numerous Events
The PartyPoker Grand Prix Poker Tour will be incorporated into the LIVE season, with the first stop revealed as Cork, Ireland. While there is no guarantee listed on the website, the Grand Prix has a following from 2016 when it traveled the area and awarded more than $2.4 million in total prize money. The upcoming Cork event will also be a combination of live and online poker, all taking place in February.
The Grand Prix then heads to Canada, again at the Playground Poker Club. It is set to run from April 27-30 with CAD $500K set as the guarantee.
The many events under the LIVE umbrella are a bit confusing, especially as they fall under various subsections of the LIVE tour. However, the entire project seems to be an attempt to pull all of the live tournament options together under one logo and one primary focus, and the schedule for late 2017 and beyond should be a bit clearer.
The purpose of it all is to harken back to the time when poker was exciting and brought the unlikeliest of players to the game. Considering PartyPoker got its start earlier than most poker entities and hosted its first live event in 2001, the team at PartyPoker remembers what those days were like. That is why there are qualifiers running all the time online, with prices for the satellites as low as one cent.
PartyPoker executive Tom Waters mentioned that goal for the schedule is to offer something for every type of poker player with the LIVE schedule. “Listening to feedback from the players at the Caribbean Poker Party,” he said, “it was clear that there was a desire for events that not only offer high guaranteed prize pools but also fun off the felt.”
With that, LIVE is on its way to creating a global tournament series to offer options for more players and competition for other online poker operators.