PokerStars Releases PokerStars Festival New Jersey Schedule

PokerStars has released the schedule for its first-ever PokerStars Festival, set to take place at the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. PokerStars Festival New Jersey will run from October 29th through November 6th and will feature 40 poker events.

Our readers (hi, Mom and Dad!) may remember that back in August, PokerStars announced that it would be retiring the European Poker Tour (EPT) brand, replacing it to with two, separate poker tours: PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival.

resorts-casino-logo“With the European Poker Tour (EPT) outgrowing its European borders, PokerStars is making its biggest live events even bigger, by encompassing key PokerStars sponsored events from around the world and bringing players worldwide the much-loved EPT experience,” the world’s largest online poker room said at the time.

The PokerStars Championship is essentially the EPT with a name change. Its events “will take place in major cities, organised by the most prestigious casinos across the globe.”

PokerStars Championship stops will last about a week and a half, have around 100 tournaments, and have a Main Event costing $5,000/€5,000.

The PokerStars Festival is the little brother to the PokerStars Championship, sort of like the World Series of Poker Circuit. They will be a bit shorter – about a week- and have tournaments with lower buy-ins that that of the PokerStars Championship. This is where the stop at Resorts in Atlantic City comes into play. Most of the tournament buy-ins are in the $100 to $500 range; nine (if my count is correct) have four-figure buy-ins with the most expensive being $5,000. The PokerStars Live New Jersey Main Event is a $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em tournament with two starting flights beginning on November 1st.

In a press release, PokerStars highlighted the following dates and events:

October 30-31, 2016, $340 PokerStars Cup
November 1-5, 2016, $1,100 PokerStars Festival Main Event
November 4-5, 2016, $2,200 PokerStars Festival High Roller
November 4-6, 2016, $230 PokerStars Open
October 31 – November 4, 2016, StarsFun Skills Zone
October 30 – November 6, 2016, StarsFun Casino Festival

The StarsFun Skills Zone looks like a sports and non-poker games competition area. It includes “Miniature Golf Hole-in-One Progressive, Hoops Fever Progressive and Pinball Progressive, each carrying cash prize pools. We’ll also have a selection of free-play games on hand including table tennis, air hockey, foosball, cornhole and darts.”

The StarsFun Casino Festival is what it sounds like: competitions involving casino games like blackjack, slots, and video poker. There will be daily jackpot prizes and special activities for casino VIP players.

There is also what PokerStars is calling an “Onlive” Main Event Freeroll on Saturday, October 29th, which appears to be a tournament in which everybody plays online, just in person at the Resorts Casino Hotel. To play, players must have a valid PokerStars New Jersey account, have a PSLive card (players can sign up for one there), be physically present at the casino, and bring their own mobile device or laptop with the PokerStars New Jersey software (PokerStars isn’t about to distribute a bunch of phones, tablets, and computers).

The tournament will start at 8:00pm and will award five seats into the PokerStars Festival New Jersey Main Event. And the best part: free food and drinks will be served from 7:00pm to 9:00pm! FREE FOOD AND DRINKS!

Obviously, PokerStars will be giving players the opportunity to win their way into the PokerStars Festival New Jersey online. In addition to the usual qualifiers:

To further celebrate the PokerStars Festival New Jersey, PokerStars is giving NJCOOP players the chance to win one of 20 PokerStars Festival New Jersey 2016 Main Event seats, each worth $1,100. All players who take part in five special NJCOOP events will receive a ticket to register to an All-in Shootout at 20:00 ET on the following day.  Each of the five All-in Shootouts will award four $1,100 Main Event seats.

All-in Shootouts are stupid, but might as well take the ticket if you get it. In an All-in Shootout, all players are automatically put all-in pre-flop until one person at the table remains. Since it’s a shootout, the table winners get combined into new tables at things keep going and going until there is a champion. It is gambling at its finest, but hey, people obviously like them enough for these types of tourneys to still exist.


PokerStars is also giving players plenty of alternative chances to win their Main Event seat to the debut Festival from October 3-17 through various promotions including the PokerStars Festival All-in Shootout; where players complete a poker challenge or just make a deposit to be registered into an All-in Shootout on October 17 with 10 Main Event seats added; the PokerStars Festival New Jersey Freerolls running daily at 20:00 ET from October 3-8 and October 10-15 with 4 Main Event seats added in two Freeroll Finals; the PokerStars Festival New Jersey Mega Qualifier on October 9 with 20 Main Event seats guaranteed and the PokerStars Festival New Jersey VIP Bash on October 15 with 15 Main Event seats guaranteed.


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