The first days of a new year mean different things to different people. Some are recovering from heavy partying and struggling with the aftermath of all the liquory nights they had spent over the holiday season, while others are shining with enthusiasm about what the next twelve months have for them. Ambitious resolutions, tons of determination, and even a greater amount of expectations – these are what the first few days of January are usually full of.
However, for an avid poker player, the first days of each new year are the first days of twelve months of thousands of opportunities to capitalize on their skills and love for the game. Here are some of the big live poker tournaments set to take place during the first week of what we all hope will be a great year in poker and in general terms.
Swiss Championship of Poker
The poker room at Casinò Lugano is set for the upcoming Swiss Championship of Poker. The exciting poker festival will take place on January 1-15 and will feature several tournaments. SCOP action will kick off at the host venue with the Finalissima Le Stelle di Lugano 4 with a guaranteed prize pool of CHF10,000.
The CHF200 No-Limit Hold’em Swiss Championship of Poker tournament will also begin on the first day of 2018. The tournament will feature ten starting flights, played over separate days, and two more days of play. The major event will kick off with a guaranteed prize pool of CHF100,000, which will hopefully be surpassed.
Players will also have the chance to enter several CHF100 buy-in Turbo tournaments.
WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant
The WSOP Circuit will resume its journey around the US on January 3 at Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma after several weeks of hiatus. The Durant stop of the popular poker series will last through January 15.
As usual, players will be able to participate in 12 gold ring tournaments with buy-ins for those ranging from $365 to $1,675 for the Main Event. Some of the events will feature guaranteed prize pools of $200,000, $300,000, and $500,000.
The Main Event will take place over January 12-15. The tournament will feature two starting flights and two more days of play. Aside from a gold ring and the first-place prize, the winner will also win an automatic entry into the season-ending 2018 Global Casino Championship.
Choctaw Casino played host to the WSOP Circuit in early November. Six-time gold ring winner Daniel Lowery won the Main Event back then, scooping $258,784 for his efforts.
WPT European Championship
The WPT will enter 2018 with a massive poker festival at Spielbank Berlin in the German capital. The major poker event will take place from January 4 all the way through January 15 and will combine WPT DeepStacks and WPT action in itself.
The €1,500 buy-in WPT DeepStacks Berlin will be the first major tournament to take place as part of the festival. It is set to begin on January 5 when ten 40-minute levels will be played as part of Day 1A.
The tournament will feature one more starting flight on the next day, and two more days of play. Its final table will be played on January 8, when the name of the champion will be announced. It is also important to point out that the event will feature a guaranteed prize pool of €500,000.
A number of other exciting events will take place within the festival, including a €10,300 High Roller 6-Handed and a €15,300 High Roller Progressive Bounty.
The highlight tournament – the €3,300 WPT European Championship – is slated to begin on January 10. It will kick off with two starting flights, followed by four more days of play. The official six-handed final table will be played on January 15. The Main Event will start off with a guaranteed prize pool of €1 million, which will hopefully be exceeded.
PokerStars Caribbean Adventure
PokerStars announced earlier this year, and many rejoiced at that announcement, that it would bring back the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in January 2018. And the time for one of the most popular live poker festivals has almost arrived. The 2018 edition of the PCA is set to begin on January 6 and to end on January 14.
The festival’s schedule includes 31 different tournaments. However, those who prefer cash game action will be treated equally well to a variety of stakes and of poker variants. As usual, the PCA will be held at Atlantis Resort in Nassau, the Bahamas.
An important thing to take into account is the fact that the buy-in fee for the festival’s Main Event will double from $5,000 to $10,000. The tournament will take place from January 8-14. Christian Harder won the 2017 edition of the Main Event (the whole festival was branded the PokerStars Championship Bahamas at the time) after a two-way deal with his heads-up opponent Cliff Josephy.
The $100,000 Super High Roller is probably the most exciting tournament on the schedule, aside from the Main Event, of course. The high roller tournament will open the whole festival on January 6. It will be played over three days. Apart from this one, the 2018 PCA schedule features several more high roller tournaments with buy-in fees of $50,000 and $25,000.