Unlike most television shows, bears, and holiday shoppers, the Heartland Poker Tour won’t be taking a long break during the winter. Though the tour still has a few stops left in 2013 for the current ninth season, it looks like 2014 will be just as busy. Heartland Poker Tour has announced the first stops for the aptly titled Season X.
The X Factor
Beginning in January, the tenth season has a full calendar with at least two dozen stops planned so far and the possibility of more events and casinos being considered. “We wanted a big start for our milestone year, so we looked to some of our biggest success stories of 2013 to lead the way,” said Heartland Poker Tour’s Director of Operations Jen Mastrud.
Set Sail for Poker
And what’s that big start you might ask? How about a cruise on the Caribbean? “HPT on the High Seas” along with Card Player Cruises will kick off a seven-day cruise on January 12, 2014 aboard the Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas. The cruise departs from Port Canaveral which is near Orlando, Florida. Featuring the Heartland Poker Tour Main Event, qualifying events, side tournaments, and cash games, players should expect to take in a lot of sun and waves. Hopefully a nice tan will be enough compensation for those who don’t win big.
A Stint on the West Coast
The Heartland Poker Tour moved into the West Coast during 2013 with the Gold Rush Series where some big events took place. The tour hopes lightning will strike twice when it comes back to California a week after the Caribbean cruise. Thunder Valley Casino Resort near Sacramento will be the next stop from January 17-26.
“They delivered everything one would expect from a first-class property and more,” said Mastrud in reference to the Resort accommodating twice as many players as it was originally expected to do. Thunder Valley will add tournament tables to supplement the increase in players. Additionally, the poker room will offer promotions to help players get into the televised Main Event.
Next on the tour will be Club One Casino in the heart of Fresno. With praised customer service and attention to detail, Club One has become a definite favorite with Mastrud claiming that players “won’t miss the next visit to Club One Casino.” Though the event officially begins on January 31, satellite opportunities will begin sooner with a champion being crowned a week after the Super Bowl.
Off to the Mountains
After leaving California behind, the tour will move straight to Black Hawk, Colorado, another fan favorite. Each year the stony embrace of the Rocky Mountains proves to hold the most popular Heartland Poker Tour event. Golden Gates Casino and Poker Parlour will host the tour for the 16th time during February 7-16. Prize pools at this event usually top a million dollars so the excitement will likely be palpable early on in the season’s run.
Season 9 Not Over Yet
So far, these four dates for the Heartland Poker Tour are the only ones officially announced. More events and their appropriate dates will be revealed as the various hosts finalize their approvals. Fans of the tour can certainly expect old favorites to make a return along with some new venues.
Before Season X begins, there are still a few events left in 2013. The tour just finished up at the Belterra Casino Resort in Indiana where Adam Friedman took first place with over $83,000. Events in Missouri, Nevada and Michigan are currently underway and will end in the coming weeks. The final event of the season will be at the Majestic Star Casino in Indiana from November 22 through December 8.