In case you got some early holiday cash to throw around and need to get out and work off that overload of tryptophan and sweet potatoes from Thanksgiving, we’ve got you.
CardsChat.com searched high and low for the best tournaments, best locales, and best bang for your buck this holiday season, so let’s start at the top.
WSOP Circuit Events
The World Series of Poker Circuit events don’t stop just because the holidays hit. No, they truck right on through.
If you’re in or around North Carolina for Thanksgiving, hit up Harrah’s Cherokee from Nov. 24-Dec. 5 for a whole series of events, ranging from $65 to $2,200 buy-ins.
And if you’ve never been to Cherokee in the Tar Heel State, set aside a day or two to just relax and soak up all the beauty that this rustic, mountainous resort has to offer. Trust us on this: there’s a reason Harrah’s Cherokee Casino earned a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor already this year.
The WSOP Circuit only has one other event in 2016 after Cherokee, and that one closes out the calendar year. Players will have to head west to the iconic Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles. Like all other stops, several gold WSOP Circuit rings will be up for grabs, and the Bike is one of the only Circuit series to offer a high-roller event.
The pickings double on the World Poker Tour in December with (say this next line in your best LeBron James voice) not one, not two, not three, but four events in the final month of the year.
It begins December 3 with the PartyPoker WPT Prague, continues with the coveted WPT Five Diamond Poker Classic on Dec. 5 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, and then shifts back overseas Dec. 8 to Casino Barrière de Deauville for the PMU.fr WPT National Deauville.
There are three things to note about this year’s Five Diamond. First, it has 23 events. The Main Event buy-in is once again $10,000. And there will be two high-roller tournaments at the end, one with a $25,000 buy-in, the other a $50,000.
The 2016 WPT schedule closes out Dec. 22 with the WPT National Thailand at the Holiday Palace Resort and Casino.
Czech It Out
Season 13 of the European Poker Tour (EPT) only has one December event, but it’s one of the biggest every year, and it’s held in the heart of the Czech Republic from Dec. 8-19. EPT Prague only has nine tourneys over the nine days, but each one is a big deal, including the $50,000 buy-in super high-roller event Dec. 11-13. As for Prague in the winter? Well, of course it’s cold, but it’s also extremely beautiful, with tons of history and architecture to admire.
And rounding out the major live tournaments in December is one from the Heartland Poker Tour, which will hold the Belterra Casino Resort Ballroom $1,100 Main Event on Dec. 5 in Florence, Indiana.
Now, if holiday travel isn’t your thing, there’s nothing wrong with sitting in your bathrobe and crushing some online tournaments from the comfort of your own home.
At Poker Stars, for instance, a $215 buy-in gets you a shot in the Sunday Millions and a guaranteed $1,000,000 prize pool every Sunday. There are also six other “major” Sunday events from Poker Stars, including a Big Money PLO event that precedes the Sunday Millions.
So get out there, or stay in, and make waves on the poker scene in December. Because while some top players choose to take the month off, this is a good time for others to dive in, make a name for yourself, and build momentum heading into the 2017 season.