Microgaming Announces Live Poker Tour
Microgaming’s online poker network, MPN, has announced a new live poker tour that will host events across Europe.
The new live series, MPNPT, will stop in a variety of countries, starting in London in the summer. Stops at Malta and Tallin, Estonia have also been announced.
“Each venue will deliver a fun and friendly poker festival with an emphasis on building a community among MPN players and operators,” states Wednesday’s press release.
The first stop will be in the Aspers Casino in Stratford, London, and will run from May 29 to June 2. It will feature a deep-stacked, slow structure €550 main event, an Open Face Chinese Poker side event, plus a fast-structure £50 rebuy, which MPN is calling “The Mosh Pit Live.”
According to the full schedule on MPNPT website, there will also be a £85+25 bounty and a £165 Omaha tournament.
Satellites for the events are already running on MPN online poker rooms, including the chance to win a €1500 prize package, which includes a main event buyin, hotel accommodation and travel. There will be live satellites in late May.
Other tie-ins between live and online are planned: players will receive special achievements for taking part—MPN is one of many operators to have added such social features to real money poker—and there is even a promise of a “real life Blazing Cannon” that players can play.
It is not the first time Microgaming has put its name to a live poker tour. In a former life, when the network was better known as Prima Poker, it sponsored the Monte Carlo Millions—the first ever poker tournament to be staged in Monaco.
The inaugural event, way back in the pre-UIGEA days of 2004, was limited to 80 players, had a buyin of $14,000, and attracted some of the top names in the poker world. In the 2004 Phil Ivey came in third; in 2005 he returned and won the event. At the time, it was the biggest ever tournament held in Europe, with a $1 million prize. The event was televised in the UK.
But then UIGEA passed in 2006, Microgaming withdrew from the US market, and it meant the end of such high-profile events. MPNPT will mark a return for Microgaming sponsoring a live poker tournament—although it is going to be a very different type of festival.
“I still have fond memories of the Monte Carlo Millions, which produced some of the best poker I’ve ever seen,” said Christopher Hirst, Head of Poker at Betsson Group, which operates four skins on MPN. “We will see an equally friendly atmosphere and even more exciting play on the MPNPT.”