The new year’s first major Canada poker tournament, 2018 Winter Festival, to run January 14-31.
Throughout the last half-century, poker has slowly, but steadily, grown into one of the most beloved, mentally-driven sports in the world. When the very first World Series of Poker was held in Las Vegas in 1970, it attracted just 7 players. The next two years saw fields of 6 and 8 respectively. As time went on, dozens, then hundreds of players, were taking part.
The 2004 WSOP was the first to attract over a thousand entries; 2,576 in all, up from just 839 the previous year. Anyone who knows the history of poker – particularly online poker – knows why. In 2003, Chris Moneymaker won an online satellite to the WSOP (avoiding the standard US-$10k entry) before winning the $2.5 million prize and title of WSOP Champion.
Since then, poker tournaments have been drawing immense crowds all over the world. Being home to a few of the most successful pros in the business – like the world’s leading all-time poker money winner Daniel Negreanu – Canada’s poker community is immense. Thus the announcement of the first major event to come to Canada this year – the 2018 Winter Festival Poker Tournament – is quite a big deal.
First Major Canada Poker Tournament of 2018
Just 10 days from now, the Playground Poker Club in Kahnawake, Canada will be teeming with countless amateur and professional contenders, all hoping to get their hands on a big prize. The 18-day festival runs from January 14th through the 31st, with a total of 17 events on the menu. That does not include side events, cash games and satellites into the Main Event.
Two events in particular are sure to draw a lot of players. One is the opening event, a $160 NLHE tournament with a charitable attachment. The 3-day event boasts 4 starting flights and a $100k guarantee. This particular event is special because the $160 buy-in is split. The first $135 will go into the prize pool, and the other $25 to charity.
There will be no traditional fee collected by the tournament’s hosts. The 2018 Winter Festival website states:
“The $25 is not a normal tournament fee – this amount will be given as a charitable donation to local charitable initiatives. There are no additional tournament fees for this event.”
The $250 Frenzy that kicks off Friday, January 19th is sure to be a crowd pleaser, as well. With 6 starting flights over two days, tournament directors have no doubt it this one will exceed its $200,000 GTD prize pool.
2018 Winter Festival Poker Tournament Main Event
And finally, of course, we have the Main Event. Officially dubbed the Playground 1000, it’s expected to draw the largest field of all. It features a $1,100 buy-in, along with satellites almost every day awarding cheaper entry). A guarantee of $500k will be in the prize pool. Starting flights will be held on January 26th, 27th, and 28th, followed by three finishing days (January 29-31).
Qualifying events to the Playground 1000 are currently ongoing at Kahnawake’s Playground Poker Club. They can also be access online via PartyPoker.
The eventual winner of the Playground 1000 Main Event will be receive the first championship crown for a major Canada poker tournament in 2018.