Boxing Day in Canada is typically spent at home with a turkey hangover recovering from the festivities of Christmas Day. However, this is the first year of operation for PokerStars Ontario, and the room is throwing a huge holiday party for players. The opening games in the 2022 Winter Series kicks off on December 26, the most lethargic of Canadian holidays.
With the hustle and bustle of Christmas Day over, many Canadians spend December 26 — called Boxing Day north of the 49th parallel — cocooned in their homes, recovering from too much turkey the day before. For Ontario online poker players, however, PokerStars Ontario is looking to give them some action in the post-Christmas lull.
The opening day of the Winter Series is the day after Christmas, and the games continue until January 10 in the new year. Games range from $3 to $2000 for buy-ins, so there will indeed be something for everyone in this winter festival of prizes.
There is nearly $1.4 million guaranteed across the 16-day poker bacchanal that also spans the New Year festivities. There will be as much as $150k guaranteed in a single game when players sit down for the $300 Main Event on January 8, but guaranteed prize pools outside the Main Event range from $500 to $75,000.
Even the $500 guarantees are decent value, despite the small numbers. It will be no surprise they are attached to the lowest-cost games priced at just $3, so those tournaments still guarantee 167 times the buy-in value.
On the other end, the $300 Main Event guarantees 500 times the buy-in value, while the $75k High Roller Main Event guarantees just 75 times its cost.
Hot Poker Action to Fill the Post-Christmas Lull
The week following Christmas day is often a time to decompress and relax from the busy schedule of holiday festivities leading up to the big day. Still, PokerStars Ontario is looking to keep the excitement going. Starting on Boxing Day, the operator is throwing a 16-day poker party with about $1.4 million guaranteed.
There are multiple events every day through January 10, 2023, with the series following a traditional PokerStars structure of three buy-in levels for most events. A few events have just a single version running sprinkled throughout the series, but most of the games will come in Low, Medium, and High variations to suit different bankroll levels.
The Main Event
There are a few key events to highlight in the upcoming Winter Series, but, as usual, the Main Event is the biggest of them all. With $150k guaranteed for just $300, the Main Event will have massive value for players making it into the money with 500 times the cost guaranteed going in.
This one-day poker extravaganza runs on January 8 as the highlight of the series. It will undoubtedly have the most substantial prize pool of all the games and award the biggest first-place prize.
Event #1: Phased
While the Main Event is the marquee tournament, it is actually not the best value in the series. That honor goes to Event #1, a phased event with opening flights throughout the series. Phase 2 of the event runs on January 9, and it will have significant value no matter how many entries it gets across the many phases.
With a buy-in of just $50, it should be accessible to most players on the site, but the $30k guarantee gives it 600 times the buy-in value regardless of the field size. If the game breaks the guarantee, that will put even more value into the pool.
Other Key Games
With 61 numbered events across the schedule, there will be a lot to choose from. Outside the massive guarantee of the Main Event, there are six games priced at $1k or $2k, with guarantees ranging from $50k to $75k.
Outside the high roller games, the Mini Main Event (Winter Series 54-L) looks as good a value as the Phased event. The Mini Main also has 600x value with a $50 buy-in and $30k guaranteed.
Mixed game players will have something to sink their teeth into for this series. PokerStars Ontario offers the widest selection of games in the market, and in this series, players can try their hand at 8-game and HORSE mixes as well as a couple of variations of deuce-to-seven, plus seven-card stud variants, five-card Omaha, and plenty of four-card Omaha action.
With many Canadians staying inside on Boxing Day regardless, the opening day of the Winter Series on PokerStars Ontario is the perfect time for Ontario grinders to compete for big post-Christmas presents. With games running well into the new year, the Winter Series will surely be a winter festival for the ages.
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