The world’s leading online poker room will sponsor the largest poker tournament series ever held in Russia, according to a recent press release issued by PokerStars.
Beginning on May 20 and running through May 31, the PokerStars Championship Sochi series will see touring pros and recreational players from around the region convene at the Sochi Casino and Resort.
The schedule consists of 10 poker tournaments which span the spectrum from approximately $230 to $52,700 in terms of buy-in – depending on the conversion rate between Russian rubles (RUB) and U.S. dollars at that time.
The series will be highlighted by the PokerStars Championship Main Event, a $5,590 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament featuring a guaranteed prize pool of RUB150,000,000 (approximately $2.6 million). In the company’s schedule announcement, PokerStars billed this massive guarantee as the “largest guaranteed prize pool ever featured in a Russian poker tournament.”
Westerners may be familiar with Sochi from its role as host of the 2014 Winter Olympics, but with the opening of Sochi Casino and Resort this January, the coastal city known for its beaches along the Black Sea is positioned to become a gambling hotbed.
Edgar Stuchly, who serves as director of live events for PokerStars, left little doubt that the global online poker titan believes that to be true:
“Sochi is a premier location for hosting world class events and we are looking forward to bringing PokerStars Championship Sochi to this exciting location.
With its vast array of 5-star hotels, outdoor activities, and 300 sunny days a year, alongside a brand new casino, Sochi is fast becoming a prime vacation spot and gaming destination, all in one.”
PokerStars Team Pro and Russian native Igor Kurganov is just one of several top brand ambassadors expected to make the trip, and he also celebrated Sochi’s status as the latest PokerStars Live destination:
“I’m excited to see PokerStars first ever sponsored live event in Russia and will be competing in the events, of course. I am interested to see the area after the massive investments it has received for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Sochi itself is a summer/ beach destination but I hope to make it out to the gorgeous and very close mountain region of Krasnaya Polyana, too!”
Other members of PokerStars Team Pro who are expected to be in attendance include 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker, along with European stars Liv Boeree and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier.
The festivities kick off on May 20 with a three-day No-Limit Hold’em event tabbed with a $10,860 buy-in.
Recreational players can get in the game directly through a pair of modestly priced events, at $350 and $230, or by competing in satellite events on PokerStars.com. Seats to the $5,590 Main Event can be won for as little as $8 through the site’s Spin and Go satellite promotion.
Those that can’t make the trip to Sochi can follow all of the action via the PokerStars live streaming service. The full schedule for the PokerStars Championship Sochi series can be found below:
Date — Event — Buy-In Russian Rubles (US Dollars)
May 20-22 — No Limit Hold’em — RUB$618,000 ($10,860)
May 20-25 — PokerStars National Championship — RUB$66,000 ($1,160)
May 20-25 — PokerStars Cup — RUB$19,800 ($350)
May 23-25 — PokerStars Super High Roller — RUB$3,000,000 ($52,700)
May 24-25 — PokerStars National High Roller — RUB$132,000 ($2,320)
May 25-31 — PokerStars Championship Main Event — RUB$318,000 ($5,590)
May 26 — No Limit Hold’em Single Day — RUB$1,530,000 ($26,880)
May 27-28 — PokerStars Champ. PLO High Roller — RUB$618,000 ($10,860)
May 29-31 — PokerStars Championship High Roller — RUB$618,000 ($10,860)
May 29-31 — PokerStars Open — RUB$13,200 ($230)