The Bar Poker Open will be hosting its first-ever series of events in Las Vegas this summer, culminating with another $100,000 invitation-only BPO National Championship tournament. The third Bar Poker Open will be held this summer at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas in late June.
The Bar Poker Open started in December 2014 as the brainchild of Glenn McCrory, founder of the Eastern Poker Tour (which hosts games in Rhode Island and Massachusetts), and Andrew Griffith, who runs the Riverchasers poker tour (which hosts games in venues in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania).
The duo originally thought it would be a friendly challenge between the top players in their respective leagues, but soon decided to open it to players from other Pub Poker leagues. The first event was held in December 2014 at the Borgata in Atlantic City, N.J., and featured a $40,000 invitation-only national championship with 15 different affiliate leagues, mostly from the eastern United States, sending players to the tournament. The inaugural event proved so popular that they brought it back for a second run in December 2015. Nearly two dozen leagues signed on as affiliates for the 2015 event, also held at the Borgata, and the prize pool for the invitation-only national championship tournament increased to $100,000.
A few more leagues have signed on as affiliates for this summer’s invitation-only national championship tournament, which will start June 27. All players who earned a seat through an online qualifier or through their affiliate Pub Poker league will have their entry fee waived (players are still responsible for the $35 cage fee). Day 1 will last until 90% of the field has been eliminated.
A second-chance tournament will be offered the following day for players who were eliminated the first day. Players who elect to re-enter will have to pay the full $160 entry fee ($125 + $35 cage fee). All players surviving from Day 1 and Day 2 will reconvene on June 29 to determine the champion. The 2015 champ, Fritz Barnes, took home a first-place prize of more than $22,000.
In addition to the invitation-only national championship, the event will also feature a series of other open tourneys from June 26-30 with affordable buy-ins. The 2015 December event at the Borgata featured tourneys with more than $300,000 guaranteed of payouts, and most of the events smashed their guarantees.
There are several ways players can qualify for the national championship. Each affiliate league gets a handful of slots that it will give to its top players (leagues may distribute the invites differently, so check with your league). The BPO hosts online qualifiers every Sunday. Players who finish in the top three at an affiliate league event get tokens to play in an on-line qualifier, and at least, the top 6 players (maybe more, depending upon how many players are in the tournament), earn an invite into the national championship. The winner of each online qualifier also receives a travel package that includes a $400 airfare credit and four nights in the Golden Nugget.
The BPO also hosts a satellite tournament every Saturday for all Pub Poker players. The top three finishers in the satellite tournament receive tokens for one of the Sunday direct qualifiers.
The BPO has also created a Super League this season in an attempt to establish a standard points leaderboard for Pub Poker players. Using PokerStars method for determining tournament leaderboard points, the top 20% of finishers in each event hosted by a participating venue will earn points to the Super League leaderboard.
The top players in each affiliate’s Super League standings will receive an instant $100,000 Entry and will be qualified to play in the Super League Championship on June 4 with a chance to play for $5,000 in Vegas Travel Packages! The number of players who qualify via the Super League is determined by how many events an affiliate league hosts. A spot will open up for every 40 events, so if a league hosts 320 events during a season between Feb. 7 and June 4, the top eight players in the Super League standings would be qualified for the national championship.