The sky is blue. The water is blue. Breathe that air. Refreshing.
It’s not called the Grand Final anymore. But the view from an upper-floor balcony out onto the Mediterranean Sea remains grand, to be sure.
We’ll enjoy that view as much as we can over the next week-and-a-half. But we’re here to watch some poker, too, and we expect that’ll be pretty grand as well.
It’s still only April, but the PokerStars Championship has done a lot of globetrotting this year already, touching down in the Bahamas, at Panama, and all of the way on the other side of the planet in Macau. Today we deliver a hearty bonjour from the picturesque principality of Monaco where the PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino® is already underway.
A couple of big PokerStars National Championship Qualifier events are going off today. A €10K single re-entry event has started as well, with Orpen Kisacikoglu, Steve O’Dwyer, David Peters, Isaac Haxon, Dan Smith, Daniel Dvoress, Rocco Palumbo, Ryan Riess, and Team PokerStars Pro Felipe Ramos among the players making up the Day 1 starting field.
Tomorrow the action picks up even more with a dozen events happening all day and night as the 71-event series gets going in earnest.
And that’s not even including the always-ongoing cash games, as well as a special PokerStars Championship Cash Challenge you’ll no doubt be hearing more about in the days to come.
If you take a look at the packed PokerStars Championship Monte-Carlo schedule, you see that an early highlight comes Thursday with start of the three-day €100,000 Super High Roller.
That one will undoubtedly attract another collection of top tournament talent, and likely resolve into another memorably tough final table. So far there have been three PSC SHR champions crowned — Jason Koon (Bahamas), Ben Tollerene (Panama), and Steve O’Dwyer (Macau), with Ole Schemion the last to win a Super High Roller here in Monaco a year ago. Whoever emerges to win this week’s SHR will enjoy a €1 million guarantee attached to first place (part of PokerStars Makes Millionaires).
Looking ahead, the €25,750 High Roller (May 3-5) will provide a big bookend to the series. So far Luc Greenwood (Bahamas), O’Dwyer again (Panama), and Sosia Jiang (Macau) have collected the first three official PSC High Rollers. Last year in Monaco, Chance Kornuth (€10K) and Alexandru Papazian (€25K) were the ones claiming the High Roller silver spades.
Of course, all eyes will soon be on the €5,300 Main Event (April 29-May 5) as everyone will want to find out who will join Christian Harder (Bahamas), Kenneth Smaron (Panama), and Elliot Smith (Macau) as the next PokerStars Championship Main Event winner. Jan Bendik was the one to win the final EPT Grand Final Main Event here last time around.
Speaking of that PokerStars Championship Macau finale and where we left off, as we look out onto the crystal blue a vision seems to rise up before us. It’s Smith and his heads-up opponent Tianyuan Tang, each strangely appearing on the water like two passing ships, still sitting across from one another and battling for that PSC Macau Main Event title.
We might be forgiven the flashback. After all, the pair’s ten-and-a-half-hour duel was the longest in flagship PokerStars tournament history, leaving a hard-to-shake impression. But we rub our eyes, breathe in the salty air, and ready ourselves to watch and report more dramatic hands from the French Riviera.
Our live coverage begins Thursday with exclusive live updates from the €100K High Roller, then we’ll be on the beat as well for both the €25K High Roller and Main Event and whatever else rises up into our view.
Bookmark this page, take a breath, and start refreshing.
Take a look at the official website of PokerStars LIVE, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for PokerStars Championship Monte-Carlo and all other Festival and Championship events.
Also all the information is on the PokerStars LIVE App, which is available on both Android or IOS.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.
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