Every poker player dreams of someday becoming a world champion. That, of course, means winning the World Series of Poker Main Event tournament. This year another 7,000 people will take their seats at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino with a small starting stack of chips and big hopes of never-ending glory. Even a win at one of the smaller events at the WSOP is an amazing achievement and comes with a coveted bracelet, the Medal of Honor equivalent in poker.
The World Series, however, starts way off in July. For those who can’t wait that long for some high stakes poker tournament action, here is a list of the most interesting events between now and the start of the WSOP.
- World Series of Poker Circuit New Orleans, May 9-20.
The WSOP has a number of circuit events around the US before the actual showdown in Las Vegas. Of all of them, New Orleans has to be the coolest. If you win the circuit, you get an automatic free-roll qualifier to the WSOP National Circuit Event. The National event takes place... yep, you guessed it, in New Orleans! It starts on May 21, right after the circuit ends. If you’re successful all-around, you get to spend almost a whole month in the Big Easy, which might just be long enough to enjoy its many temptations. On top of that, the National Circuit tournament now awards bracelets too, in case you needed extra motivation.
- International Stadiums Poker Tour 2013, online play starts February
This is a new one on the poker calendar. Live tournaments have long been preceded by a number of online satellites that give you the chance to qualify. The ISPT also has an online and a live tournament portion, but the innovation here is that the two are directly linked into a single tourney. Players start online in February, and the top 10% that survive play carry over their stacks to the live, televised tourney. If you’re wondering where the name comes from, here is another innovation – live play will take place at the Wembley Stadium in London, generally home of the England national football (soccer) team. It definitely sounds like a unique experience, especially if you are also a fan of that non-poker game.
- EPT Monte Carlo Grand Finale, May 6-12
The European Poker Tour is in its 9th season and has gained considerable popularity. The season finale takes place at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort. The tournament has a €10,000 + €600 buy-in, so the prize pool in very respectable. Last season American Mohsin Charania beat the pool of 665 entrants to bring home €1,350,000, or nearly $1.8 million. It is a 7-day event, so you will also have plenty of time to enjoy some Mediterranean sunshine and cuisine.
- Inaugural World Series of Poker Asia Pacific, April 4-15
Expanding into Asia has probably been the ambition of every single corporate management team in the past 10 years. Now the WSOP follows suit, with an event to cater to the Asian market. Along with the regular number of bracelets and cash piles to be won, the WSOP APAC also gives you the chance to be the first one ever to win an event, which is pretty cool. Tournament takes place at the Crown Melbourne in Australia.
Written by: Konstantin