Partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Kicks Off In North Cyprus With $5M Guaranteed; Streaming On Twitch

The return of live poker continues with the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS North Cyprus running through Sept. 27 with $5 million guaranteed.

The return of live poker continues with the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS North Cyprus series getting underway on Thursday at Merit Crystal Cove. The series runs through Sept. 27 with a total guarantee of $5 million.

This becomes the first LIVE MILLIONS since the South American festival was held in February 2020. The $5,300 Main Event begins Sept. 22 and features a $3 million guarantee.

Players can select from four starting flights before Day 2 begins on Sept. 25. Numerous other side events are also in the works.

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“I’m really excited to return to North Cyprus at the Merit Crystal Cove for these major events and guarantees,” Team partypoker’s Jeff Gross said in a news release. “I really look forward to the High Roller, as it gets a mix of the best in the world as well as some amateurs looking to compete. I’m also eager to play in the Main Event.

“I have had several of my best poker trips and results at Merit Crystal Cove in the past and I plan to have a similar experience on this trip.”

Online satellites continue at partypoker for several events including the championship.

Partypoker LIVE MILLIONS highlights

Players will find plenty of events to choose from on this trip to the Mediterranean. The $2,200 Warm Up kicked off the events on Thursday and finishes on Sept. 20 with $500,000 guaranteed.

The $10,500 High Roller also runs Sept. 19-22, also with a $500,000 guarantee. The $2,200 Super Bounty should also attract plenty of players and kicks off Sept. 26 with $150,000 guaranteed. Here’s a look at the complete schedule:

Partypoker LIVE MILLIONS North Cyprus 2021

DateEventTournamentBuy-inGuarantee
Sept. 161NL Turbo Sat. to Warm Up Day 1A1 Day Event : 3 Seats GTD$200+20
Sept. 162NL Warm UpDay 1A : $500K GTD$2,000+200$500,000
Sept. 163NL Bounty [$300 K.O.]1 Day Event : $25K GTD$600+60
Sept. 164NL Turbo Sat. to Warm Up Day 1B1 Day Event : 3 Seats GTD$200+20
Sept. 175NL Turbo Sat. to Warm Up Day 1B1 Day Event : 3 Seats GTD$200+20
Sept. 172NL Warm UpDay 1B : $500K GTD$2,000+200$500,000
Sept. 176NL Turbo Sat. to Warm Up Day 1C1 Day Event : 3 Seats GTD$200+20
Sept. 177NL Turbo Deep Stack1 Day Event : $30K GTD$600+60$30,000
Sept. 172NL Warm Up Day 1C Turbo : $500K GTD$2,000+200$500,000
Sept. 178NL Turbo Sat. to Warm Up Day 1D or Day 21 Day Event : 3 Seats GTD$200+20
Sept. 182NL Warm Up Day 1D Turbo : $500K GTD$2,000+200$500,000
Sept. 182NL Warm UpDay 2 : $500K GTD$2,000+200$500,000
Sept. 189NL Turbo1 Day Event : $20K GTD$500+50$20,000
Sept. 1810NL Super Sat to High Roller Day 11 Day Event : 5 Seats GTD$1,000+100
Sept. 192NL Warm UpDay 3 : $500K GTD$2,000+200$500,000
Sept. 1911PL Omaha Bounty [$400K.O.] (8-max)1 Day Event : $25K GTD$800+80$25,000
Sept. 1912NL Turbo Sat. to High Roller Day 11 Day Event : 2 Seats GTD$700+70
Sept. 1913NL High RollerDay 1 : $500K GTD$10,000+500$500,000
Sept. 2014NL Bounty 6 - Max [$400 K.O.]1 Day Event : $40K GTD$800+80$40,000
Sept. 2015NL Step Satellite1 Day Event : 10 Seats GTD$50+5
Sept. 202NL Warm UpFinal Day : $500K GTD-$500,000
Sept. 2013NL High RollerDay 2 : $500K GTD$10,000+500$500,000
Sept. 2016NL Step Satellite1 Day Event : 10 Seats GTD$50+5
Sept. 2017NL Satellite to Main Event Day 1A1 Day Event : 5 Seats GTD$500+50
Sept. 2118NL Bounty [$750 K.O.]1 Day Event : $100K GTD$1,500+150$100,000
Sept. 2119NL Step Satellite1 Day Event : 10 Seats GTD$70+5
Sept. 2113NL High RollerDay 3 : $500K GTD$10,000+500$500,000
Sept. 2120NL Step Satellite1 Day Event : 10 Seats GTD$70+5
Sept. 2121MILLIONS Super High RollerDay 1$25,000+500
Sept. 2122NL Super Satellite To Main Event Day 1A1 Day Event : 10 Seats GTD$700+70
Sept. 2223MILLIONS North Cyprus Main EventDay 1A : $3M GTD$5,000+300$3,000,000
Sept. 2224NL Step Satellite1 Day Event : 10 Seats GTD$50+5
Sept. 2213NL High RollerFinal Day : $500K GTD-$500,000
Sept. 2221MILLIONS Super High RollerFinal Day$25,000+500
Sept. 2225NL Step Satellite1 Day Event : 10 Seats GTD$50+5
Sept. 2226NL Turbo Deep Stack1 Day Event : $30K GTD$600+60$30,000
Sept. 2227NL Satellite to Main Event Day 1B1 Day Event : 5 Seats GTD$500+50
Sept. 2323MILLIONS North Cyprus Main EventDay 1B : $3M GTD$5,000+300$3,000,000
Sept. 2328NL Step Satellite1 Day Event : 10 Seats GTD$50+5
Sept. 2329NL Turbo Deep Stack Bounty [$300 K.O.]1 Day Event : $30K GTD$600+60$30,000
Sept. 2330NL Step Satellite1 Day Event : 10 Seats GTD$50+5
Sept. 2331NL Monster Stack1 Day Event : $20K GTD$400+40$20,000
Sept. 2332NL Satellite to Main Event Day 1C1 Day Event : 5 Seats GTD$500+50
Sept. 2423MILLIONS North Cyprus Main EventDay 1C : $3M GTD$5,000+300$3,000,000
Sept. 2433NL Step Satellite1 Day Event : 10 Seats GTD$50+5
Sept. 2434NL Short Deck (6+)1 Day Event : $40K GTD$600+60$40,000
Sept. 2435NL Satellite To Main Event Day D Turbo or Day 21 Day Event : 3 Seats GTD$500+50
Sept. 2423MILLIONS North Cyprus Main EventDay 1D : $3M GTD$5,000+300$3,000,000
Sept. 2436NL Mix-MaxDay 1 : $100K GTD$1,500+150$100,000
Sept. 2523MILLIONS North Cyprus Main EventDay 2 : $3M GTD$5,000+300$3,000,000
Sept. 2536NL Mix-MaxDay 2 : $100K GTD$1,500+150$100,000
Sept. 2637NL Satellite to Super Bounty1 Day Event : 3 Seats GTD$200+20
Sept. 2623MILLIONS North Cyprus Main EventDay 3 : $3M GTD-$3,000,000
Sept. 2638NL Super BountyDay 1 : $150K GTD$2,000+200$150,000
Sept. 2639NL Turbo Deep Stack1 Day Event : $20K GTD$500+50$20,000
Sept. 2636NL Mix-MaxFinal Day : $100K GTD-$100,000
Sept. 2740NL Deep Stack Bounty 6-Max [$300 K.O.]1 Day Event : $25K GTD$600+60$25,000
Sept. 2723MILLIONS North Cyprus Main EventFinal Day : $3M GTD-$3,000,000
Sept. 2738NL Super BountyFinal Day : $150K GTD-$150,000
Sept. 27Freeroll to Event 41,R&A $251 Day Event : 3 Seats GTD$0
Sept. 2741NL Bounty 6-Max [$200 K.O.]1 Day Event : $20K GTD$500+50$20,000

Live streaming the action

Those who can’t make it to North Cyprus can still check out some of the major action. Partypoker will stream some of the bigger events live at the site’s Twitch, YouTube and Facebook Live channels.

Here’s a look at the complete streaming schedule.

  • Warm Up (final day) – Sept. 20
  • High Roller (Day 3) – Sept. 21
  • High Roller (Final Day) – Sept. 22
  • Main Event (Day 2) – Sept. 25
  • Main Event (Day 3) – Sept. 26
  • Main Event (final day) – Sept. 27

Team partypoker’s Joni Jouhkimainen is looking forward to jumping in the series and getting back to the real poker felt.

“I’m really excited to get back to playing live after such a long break, especially at one of the always well-organized LIVE MILLIONS events,” he said. “I’m going to be playing as many tournaments as I can, but my main focus will be the Main Event.”

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Partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Is Back; Series Returning To North Cyprus 

Partypoker announced Monday that the live MILLIONS North Cyprus Series is returning to Merit Crystal Cove Casino in September.

Live poker has begun returning around the world and that now goes for Europe. Partypoker announced Monday that the live MILLIONS North Cyprus Series is returning to Merit Crystal Cove Casino.

The festival runs Sept. 16-27 and becomes the first live series from the company since MILLIONS South America in February 2020. Players can expect plenty of action, highlighted by the $5,300 Main Event on Sept. 22 with a $3 million guarantee.

The festival helps kickstart the live poker scene returning in Europe.

“We are thrilled to finally see the return of partypoker LIVE MILLIONS events,” partypoker head of live events Dan Rose said in a news release. “I know players have been eagerly wanting to get back to the felt and it’s a pleasure to be working with Merit to bring the MILLIONS brand to North Cyprus.”

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What to expect from the return of partypoker LIVE

Players heading to the Crystal Cove can expect a full festival of events. While a complete schedule isn’t available yet, Main Event online satellites for the will be hosted on partypoker.

Players can qualify online for as little as $0.01. The casino also plans live satellites as the series approaches.

Poker fans can get in on the return of the LIVE MILLIONS Series via partypokerTV, the site’s Twitch channel. That includes the Main Event final table with commentary provided in multiple languages.

The festival also hosts a range of other events. 

A look at the venue

The company expects some of the world’s best-known poker players to return to the live felt. Team partypoker’s Isaac Haxton is already planning on making the trip.

“I’m very excited for the return of partypoker LIVE MILLIONS events,” Haxton said. “I’ve never been to Cyprus before and I am really looking forward to it.”

Partypoker officials are pleased to see tournament action return and promise an excellent travel and poker experience. The casino is located by Zephyrus Cove, one of the most picturesque locations in North Cyprus.

The cove stretches toward the clear waters of the Eastern Mediterranean. The Merit Crystal Cove is an ultra all-inclusive resort with a private beach.

The Cypriot government recently announced visitors can enter the country with a proof of vaccination or PCR test on arrival.

“We are getting ready to welcome back the most exciting tournament series after a very long break due to the global pandemic,” Merit Poker President Songul Bekem said. “Besides the non-stop action at the poker tables and challenging competition between the world’s top players for the attractive prize pools, participants will have an opportunity to spend a five-star holiday in one of the best resorts in North Cyprus, enjoying the nature, clear sea, and the services offered here.

“The dedication, loyalty and responsibility of our employees, combined with Merit’s exquisiteness and hospitality, makes the quality of Merit Poker events unrivaled.”

The full series schedule is expected to be released soon. Many players will be happy to get back to the tables.

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Summer Tournament Guide: A Complete Look at Major Upcoming International Poker Events

PokerScout offers players a complete summer guide to upcoming international poker tournament series.

More countries are opening up as the COVID pandemic becomes more under control. US players have several tournament series to look forward to in the coming months and not international players also have some options.

More international events are also popping up in the coming weeks. PokerScout offers players this guide to some upcoming international tournaments.

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Australia

Matchroom Poker (Adelaide)

From July 4-11, this property hosts the Matchroom Poker Challenge. The  $1,150 Main Event includes a $50,000 guaranteed first-place payout. 

Beyond the Main Event, Matchroom will host 10 other events and some highlights include:

  • $300 Opener (July 5) – $25,000 guarantee
  • $250 PLO/NLHE (July 6) – $5,000 guarantee
  • $75  Ladies Event (July 6) – $1,500 guarantee
  • $250 NLHE Freezeout (July 10) – $3,000 guaranteed for first

Here’s a look at the full series.

Matchroom Poker Challenge

StartsEventBuy-inGuarantee
July 4$200 NLHE Teams$200$10,000
July 5$150 NLHE Shot Clock Turbo$150$2,000
July 5$300 NLHE Opener$300$25,000
July 6$250 NLHE/PLO Switch$250$5,000
July 6$75 NLHE Ladies$75$1,500
July 7$300 NLHE$300$15,000
July 8$300 NLHE Six Max$300$15,000
July 8$200 NLHE Short Deck$200$2,000
July 9$1,150 NLHE Main Event$1,150$50,000 fr first
July 10$250 NLHE Freezout$250$3,000
July 11$180 NLHE Terminator$180$2,000

Japan

WPT Japan

Sammy Inc., Osaki Garden Tower Tokyo

The WPT is getting back in on the action internationally and will host an end of summer special event Sept 12-20

This event will be for invitees and qualifiers, and run by the Japan Poker Union. The Main Event guarantees a $91,500 WPT Passport to the winner.

Here’s a look at the Main Event schedule:

  • Sept. 12 – Main Event Day 1A, Tokyo
  • Sept. 12 – Main Event Day 1B, Osaka
  • Sept. 18 – Main Event Day 1C – Tokyo
  • Sept. 19 – Main Event Day 2
  • Sept. 20 – Main Event Day 3 (final day)

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Russia 

Sochi Casino & Poker Club

Summer Poker Festival

The Sochi Russia Casino and Poker Club will be hosting an 888poker-sponsored series from July 17-26. The Summer Poker Festival features 18 events ranging in buy-in from $52 to $1,797.

888 promises a multi-day Main Event kicking off on July 21. Here’s a look at the championship event.

  • Starting Stack: 30,000
  • July 21 – Day 1A, 40-minute levels
  • July 22 – Day 1B, 35-minute levels
  • July 23 – Day 1C, 30-minute levels
  • July 23 – Day 1D (Turbo), 20-minute levels
  • July 24 Day 2 and beyonds, 40-minute levels and 20 minutes at heads-up

In addition to the cash, the Main Event champion wins a prize package to the next 888LIVE destination in 2021. 888poker is running Main Event satellites online starting at $33. Here’s a look at the complete schedule.

Casino Sochi 888poker Summer Poker Festival

DateEventBuy-In
Jul7 17₽31,080 NLHE$423
Jul 17₽35,000 NLHE Freezeout$476
Jul 17₽3,850 NLHE Ladies$52
Jul 18₽23,100 NLHE Deep Stack Bounty$314
Jul 20₽17,500 NLHE Deep Stack$238
Jul 21₽62,160 Main Event$845
Jul 21₽30,800 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty$419
Jul 22₽132,160 NLHE$1,797
Jul 22₽23,100 NLHE Win the Button$314
Jul 23₽35,000 NLHE Bounty$476
Jul 23₽35,000 NLHE Bounty$476
Jul 24₽19,250 NLHE Turbo$262
Jul 24₽30,800 NLHE Deep Stack$419
Jul 25₽46,200 NLHE Bounty$628
Jul 25₽35,000 Pot-Limit Omaha$476
Jul 26₽62,160 NLHE Turbo$845
Jul 26₽35,000 NLHE Deep Stack Bounty$476
Jul 26₽11,550 NLHE All In or Fold Bounty$157

WPTDeepStacks

Sochi Casino also hosts the WPTDeepStacks tour from Aug. 9-14 in partnership with partypoker. Players will find a ₽119,000 ($1,635) championship.

Players will find four starting flights and here’s a look at the schedule for the Main Event.

  • Aug. 9 – Day 1A (registration open until Day 2)
  • Aug. 10 – Day 1B
  • Aug. 11 – Day 1C
  • Aug. 11 – Day 1D (Turbo)
  • Aug. 12 – Day 2
  • Aug. 13 – Day 3
  • Aug. 14 – Final day

United Kingdom

Grosvenor UK Poker Tour

TheGUKPT will be hosting a few events this summer. The GUKPT has three stops currently on the summer schedule along with a main event at each one.

The tour will offer qualifiers all summer long. Players can win their seats online or live at participating casinos. Here’s a look at the summer events and complete 2021 schedule.

Grosvenor UK Poker Tour 2021

DateLegLocationBuy-inMain Event guarantee
July 15-251The Poker Room London£1,350$200,00
Aug. 5-152BNR Manchester£1,350TBD
Aug. 29 – Sept. 53Edinburgh£750TBD
Sept. 16-264Leeds£750TBD
Oct. 7-175Luton£1,350TBD
Oct. 28 – Nov. 76Blackpool£1,350TBD
Nov. 21 – Dec. 5Grand FinalThe Poker Room London£2,000TBD

RETURN TO THE FELT: Casinos, Operators, & Players Reviving the Live Tournament Scene

Scene from the WPT Japan in August.

The Coronavirus pandemic has led to an unprecedented online poker boom. Every operator has reported massive turnouts and that has continued for months.

However, many players may be craving the feel of some chips in their hands and the fun of a live tournament. After months of cancellations and postponements around the world, live tournaments seem to be slowly returning.

A full slate of events still may be months away. However, Coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations are declining in many countries and live events are slowly gaining some traction.

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888poker hits tournament trail, hopes to lead efforts at returning

One of the first operators to get back in the live tournament game has been 888poker. The company held its first live series since the pandemic on Sept. 1-7 at Olympic Park Casino in Tallinn, Estonia.

The series featured 15 events with an €888 Main Event that  brought in 91 entries for a €71,320 prize pool. Latvia’s Edijs Laugals took the title for €19,982.

Like other events held in a COVID-19 environment, numerous precautions were in place. An 888 executive says all upcoming live events will be in line with scientific advice of local governments.

Company officials are constantly monitoring the health situation in each country, adjusting plans as needed for a safe environment. 888 sees the Estonia series as a good start and hopes this expands to some of its bigger signature events.

“The Tallinn event is an important step toward bringing live poker action back for fans around the world,” an 888poker rep said, “and we are happy that 888poker will be one of the first brands to host such an event.

“It will also be an important milestone for both our brand and our players as we work toward future events like the 888poker LIVE Sochi weekend and London Festival. We hope to run these in the coming months, in full compliance with government guidance.” 

In Estonia, players found a similar experience as past events including brand ambassadors onsite. Buy-ins ranged from €55 to €2,000 with most events in the €55 to €220 range but without guarantees.

“Together with affordable buy-ins and our great structure to assure the best live poker experience for all players,” the 888poker executive said, “we hope that our 888poker Live Tallinn event will be the starting point for getting live poker back in the new-normal state.”

WPT sees nice results with series in Japan

World Poker Tour regulars have had to make due with international events via partypoker in recent months. Events like the World Online Championships have attempted to fill the void and even award official WPT titles, prizes, and Tournament of Champions packages.

In the US, the tour has partnered to promote New Jersey events with the partypoker US Network. However, the company held the live WPT Japan on Aug. 10-16 at the Hotel Gajoen in Tokyo.

The tour considers the tournament series a “Special Event.” Gambling is illegal in Japan, so players are invited or qualify through local events. 

Like other live series have reported recently, demand was high. The main event attracted a record 726 entries, up about 35% from last year.

“It also serves as an excellent example for health and safety standards since it is the first live event in post-COVID era,” WPTDeepStacks director Cathy Zhao said.

The scene at the recent WPT Japan event. (photo courtesy Japan Poker Union)

Numerous safety measures were in place to ensure a safe environment. That included:

  • Thorough cleaning and the use of masks throughout the hotel
  • Mandatory mask usage during the tournament
  • Temperature checks prior to entering the tournament area
  • Disinfection measures at the entrance
  • Acrylic partition dividers and social distancing at registration counters
  • Limited numbers of people in the smoking area
  • “Bring your own” bottled drinks only

Another WPT event is also on the horizon in Asia. The tour and its partner, the Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association, plans to proceed with WPTDeepstacks Taiwan in December.

“Taiwan has a thriving local poker market and to date has successfully handled COVID-19,” Zhao said. “So the event can proceed even if international travel restrictions remain in place.”

Despite those events, no US tournament dates have been announced. WPT officials continue to work with partner casinos on when some of those postponed events might return.

Returning tournaments seeing massive numbers

There is still a long way to go for the live tournament scene. The World Series of Poker in Las Vegas was postponed to the fall and no date has been announced.

However, there has been some progress. In the US, the Mid-States Poker Tour became one of the first tours to return to the felt in August. The MSPT held a $1,100 tournament at Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood, Iowa.

The event attracted 538 entries, smashing the event’s previous record of 238. That total set a state record for an event priced at $1,000 or more.

In Las Vegas, the Venetian’s Deepstack Showdown is currently running and continues through Sept. 27. The festival features 32 events and a total guarantee of $400,000. Not quite sure what to expect, event organizers lowered normal guarantees for the series.

So far, turnout has been massive with most tournaments easily topping guarantees. For example, the $250 SuperStack on Sept. 13 guaranteed $10,000. However, 254 entries produced a prize pool of $52,070. Other events have seen similar results.

 

The Venetian reopened for business on June 4 with the poker room opening a day later. Like most casinos reopening around the world, the casino has put major safety measures in place.

That includes mandatory mask usage and Plexiglass dividers between players. The new series came after seeing nice turnouts from players and other festivals are already in the works.

“Our one-day poker tournaments have seen tremendous support even with lower guarantees since we resumed on July 24,” tournament director Tommy LaRosa told USPoker.

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Casinos reviving live poker festivals

Other operators are stepping up to grow the returning live tournament scene. In the US, the Seminole Hard Rock casinos in Florida have reopened poker rooms in Tampa, Coconut Creek, and Hollywood.

The casinos offer a vibrant poker scene with regular events on the WPT and WSOP Circuit. All three properties reopened in May and June, and have seen nice demand since getting cards back in the air.

Florida has seen greatly declining COVID-related deaths and hospitalizations in recent months. That has been a shot in the arm for live poker players.

Daily tournaments resumed at the Hard Rock properties on Aug. 1. Those events have seen nice results and now the Seminoles are adding some festivals to the mix.

The first of those begin in October, with Hard Rock’s “Safe & Sound” program in place. That includes high cleanliness standards, mandatory masks, and more.

Other online operators also scheduling live events

The live tournament arms of online poker operators have also been slowly moving back to offer live series.

Partypoker LIVE returns to action Sept. 18-27. The Eurasian Poker Tour returns to the Casino Altai Palace in Altai Krai, Russia, with 29 events and more than $120,000 guaranteed.

The series features a $40,000 guaranteed Main Event and also hosts the Russian Poker Championship. Other partypoker LIVE events are currently postponed, but more could be added in the coming months.

Russia will also play host to PokerStars’ return to the live felt. The company hosts the European Poker Tour Sochi event Oct. 2-11 at the Marriott Hotel and Casino.

The festival boasts 25 events and a $1.6 million guarantee. That’s not the only PokerStars Live event in the works. Two events on the PokerStars Spanish Poker Championship series will be held in October and November in Marbella and Peralada.

Many in the industry are watching to see how some of these events turn out. There are certainly some struggles and adjustments ahead. But many players and tournament operators are ready for the challenge.

Lead image courtesy Japan Poker Union