PokerStars will hit 21 hot spots in 2020 as it looks to capitalize on the current appetite for live action among players.
Announced on Dec. 16, the schedule includes a mix of events that cater to all bankrolls.
The European Poker Tour (EPT) remains as PokerStars’ primary focus. Three stops have been confirmed, with the tournament team plotting courses for Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Sochi.
EPT Flanked by International Offerings
In addition to the EPT, a selection of regional events will happen next year.
The Brazilian Series of Poker (BSOP) will take PokerStars to Brasília in February and São Paulo in March. Beyond South America, the tournament bandwagon will make its way across to Asia.
With Asian operators such as IDNPoker dominating the online rankings, the continent’s potential is starting to show. Although China remains a black market, PokerStars will appeal to Asia’s growing hoards of tournament fans with seven events in Manila throughout 2020.
Also on the roster will be a second round of Road to PSPC action. Doubling up as qualifiers for the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC), the next events will take place in France and Spain.
Rounding out the schedule will be the PSPC itself. Following its inaugural outing in 2019, the $25,000 tournament will return in 2020, but take place in August instead of January.
Although the first PSPC in the Caribbean attracted 1,039 entries, the tournament has been moved to Casino Barcelona, which has a history of hosting record-breaking events.
PokerStars Banking on Live Tournament Upswing
In context, life on the road has proved positive for all poker operators in 2019.
The Triton Poker Tour raised the bar over the summer by hosting a $1.27 million buy-in event in London. Attracting a mix of pros and wealthy amateurs, the festival made the headlines by awarding more than $100 million in prize money.
Elsewhere, the WSOP thrived once again, while Partypoker Live continued to establish itself as an alternative to the EPT and World Poker Tour (WPT).
With live tournaments as popular as ever, PokerStars is looking to strike while the iron is hot. By confirming 21 stops before the close of 2019, it’s staking its claim as the go-to provider for live tournament action.
With players having access to more tournament choices each week, operators are competing for attention in the same way they did during early noughties.
For PokerStars’ tournament team, that means getting ahead of the game and securing a spot on players’ calendars before the competition does.