It has been one other whirlwind yr for poker, with a few of the sport’s biggest-ever tales breaking throughout the final 12 months.

In an effort to prevent from digging by way of the PokerNews archives, it is time for us to convey you our high ten tales of the yr. They might not have been the most important, they might not be essentially the most controversial, however with the assistance of this collection we’ll convey you a bite-sized recap of 2023 proper by way of to New Yr’s Eve

So sit again and chill out as we kick off the gathering at the moment with the dwell poker increase that has taken place within the post-covid period that we now discovered ourselves residing in!

The Return of Stay Poker

Whereas 2021 noticed some inexperienced shoots of restoration on the dwell poker scene, it is clear now this was extra an indication of what was to return in 2022.

The primary ‘regular’ World Collection of Poker (WSOP) since 2019 was a glittering success in its new dwelling The Horseshoe, and festivals such because the Golden Nugget PokerNews Cup

Excursions like RunGood Poker Collection (RGPS) and the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) additionally broke information in their very own proper.

Equally, operations on the PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) resumed their standard schedule and noticed arguably its finest season so far.

TWO File Fields at EPT Prague; Eureka Important Occasion and Excessive Curler Champions Topped

PokerStars European Poker Tour Greater and Higher Than Ever

PokerStars Match Director Toby Stone

After the postponement of EPT Prague in late-2021, Europe’s most prestigious poker tour needed to wait till this yr for its first cease since 2019.

The EPT returned to Prague in March, which was initially scheduled for December 2021, after which held occasions in premier places reminiscent of Monte Carlo (April-Might), Barcelona (August), London (October) after which headed again to the Czech capital earlier this month.

This yr, the EPT noticed a few of their largest fields of all time, with record-breaking attendances and prize swimming pools being a few of the extra notable speaking factors at EPT Barcelona and each editions of EPT Prague.

“It has been a record-breaking yr for the EPT, and it is nice to be lastly capable of return to a few of our hottest locations after the pandemic.” mentioned PokerStars Match Director Toby Stone. “The information converse for themselves — we all know that gamers have all been desirous to be part of the EPT, whether or not that is in Barcelona or Prague or any of the stops,” he added.

“It is a testomony to the taking part in expertise and the places, however not solely that it is the off-the-felt stuff as properly. The entire group’s work behind the scenes actually cannot be over-emphasized, to maintain issues working easily and be sure that gamers take pleasure in themselves whereas they’re right here.”

On the first EPT Prague of the yr, the €1,100 Eureka Important Occasion and €2,200 Eureka Excessive Curler noticed record-breaking turnouts.

Alejandro Lococo wins €1,100 Eureka Important Occasion

PokerStars ambassador Alejandro “PapoMC” Lococo was topped the Eureka Important Occasion champion and pocketed €417,820 of the €3,028,800 prize pool. Jose Manuel Gonzalez took dwelling the Excessive Curler title and the €343,750 put aside for the winner.

The EPT Prague €5,300 Important Occasion, which was gained by on-line qualifier Grzegorz Glowny, was simply three entries wanting surpassing the 2016 entry-record (1,192).

Nonetheless, that determine could be eclipsed simply 9 months later, as 1,267 entries have been confirmed for this month’s instalment of the EPT Prague €5,300 Important Occasion.

The Eureka Important Occasion and Eureka Excessive Curler additionally shattered their newly made information, making EPT Prague persistently probably the most standard locations on the tour.

The return of EPT Barcelona, in the meantime, was probably the most extremely anticipated poker festivals of the yr and it did not disappoint.

The €1,100 Estrellas Poker Tour Important Occasion turned the most important dwell poker event in EPT historical past and attracted an enormous discipline of 6,313.

The information did not cease their both because the EPT Barcelona €5,300 Important Occasion celebrated a 2,294-entry discipline, additionally the most important in its historical past.

Rick van Bruggen Wins File-Breaking Estrellas Poker Tour Important Occasion

And simply how have PokerStars been capable of proceed attracting such file fields? There’s further emphasis on listening to the gamers and taking over board their suggestions. Strategies from gamers have been carried out throughout the board, highlighting the model’s ardour for gamers.

“This season we have been making numerous enhancements to procedural issues, simply to make the expertise higher”

“This season we have been making numerous enhancements to procedural issues, simply to make the expertise higher,” mentioned Stone. “Little tweaks to time banks, Excessive Curler seating attracts, and surveying gamers to take heed to what they need.”

“For instance, we have requested gamers for his or her suggestions. Not intensive questionnaires, however simply little one-word QR codes they will scan on the tables and inform us what they suppose. We have used that quite a bit. Gamers are serving to to form the codecs based mostly virtually totally on their suggestions: when ought to Thriller Bounties come into play? Ought to PLO have a giant blind ante?”

Julien Liarte (left) Toby Stone (proper)

“We take a look at guidelines and recommendation from locations just like the Aria for the way they run their Excessive Curler tournaments, however right here we’re additionally capable of get suggestions from gamers in common big-field tournaments.”

“We give them questions together with a mini rationalization and it permits us to get focused suggestions. And we will run it in a number of stops to proceed to cater on to the gamers.”

Earlier this month, PokerStars unveiled its 2023 European Poker Tour Schedule which incorporates debuting stops at Paris and Cyprus alongside the long-lasting Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Prague visits.

It will be one other action-packed yr for the EPT however they’re greater than up for the problem says Stone when looking forward to the following twelve months.

“It’s going to be busy, that is for certain. 5 occasions with two new locations — and gamers may have expectations for the opposite three stops as properly. However we’ll be prepared. The EPT has such a wealthy historical past with so many wonderful tales and extra locations imply much more tales. We’re greater than able to welcome gamers previous and new in 2023.”

PokerNews Cup Smashes Golden Nugget File Prize Pool

This yr additionally noticed the return of the PokerNews Cup, which was the marquee occasion of the extremely profitable Golden Nugget Grand Poker Collection

It was the primary PokerNews Cup in simply over three years and boy oh boy was it a smash hit. The PokerNews Cup got here with a $1,100 buy-in and a $1 million assure, with some assumptions that there could also be an overlay. Nicely, the 1,245 entries collected put all fears to at least one aspect as the ultimate prize pool got here in at $1,207,650, which additionally made it the most important prize pool in Golden Nugget Las Vegas historical past.

Gary Gelman was the final participant standing and noticed his bankroll enhance by $202,725 after overcoming Australia’s Daniel Hinh in heads-up play.

Gary Gelman

The triumph for Gelman, who was draped in a Ukrainian flag, was an emotional one.

“It’s [the victory] particular to me. I used to be born in Ukraine, I lived there with my mother and father after I was a child. I additionally married a Ukrainian just a few years in the past. It has been actually exhausting these previous few months. We have been truly in Kyiv in February when the warfare began. We needed to make our approach out and we introduced her mom again with us.” Gelman mentioned after the occasion.

A second PokerNews Cup occasion then featured as a part of the 2022 Luxon Pay Mediterranean Poker Social gathering schedule.

The winner this time round was Unibet Poker’s Arnaud Enselme, who walked away with $50,000 of the $250,000 prize purse.

“After virtually two years of Covid disrupting the dwell poker scene, 2022 has been wonderful. Each occasion we’ve attended over the previous yr has been vastly profitable for the organizers, gamers, and PokerNews too after all.” mentioned PokerNews Stay Reporting Supervisor Shirley Ang

“The huge fields within the occasions have been a problem for our workers to sort out, particularly with a comparatively new crew in addition to the foundations and laws throughout the post-covid instances. Nonetheless, we did it with numerous success in my view and I’m tremendous pleased with the entire group,” she added.

Learn extra: A Temporary Historical past of the PokerNews Cup

Increase to Carry Over into 2023?

Poker operators will little question have been thrilled to see the demand for dwell poker post-covid and with what’s on provide within the first few months of subsequent yr, expectations are that this increase will proceed onto at the very least 2023.

One barometer that everybody will look to concerning the well being of dwell poker would be the turnout for the WSOP Important Occasion. The 2022 WSOP Important Occasion turned the second-largest of all time after 8,663 gamers tried their luck on the planet’s most well-known poker event.

There have been rumblings that the latest Important Occasion would lastly move the 8,773-player discipline that took half within the 2006’s version however was simply 111 extra entries shy of the feat.

With the success that the brand new venue introduced in its first yr of internet hosting the WSOP, 2023 might lastly be the yr that we see the Important Occasion file damaged.

PokerNews to Proceed Stay Reporting at Main Occasions

It is trying like one other busy yr for the PokerNews dwell reporting group, with Ang telling us “at the very least 5 occasions” have been already confirmed for January 2023, beginning with the upcoming PokerStars Caribbean Journey and PokerStars Gamers Championship.

“It is shaping as much as be one in every of our largest years ever,” mentioned Ang. “We’ll be overlaying a few of the largest occasions organized by our companions all around the world. This additionally means that we’ll be increasing our dwell reporting group and with the WSOP developing in the summertime on the newly branded Horseshoe, the group will solely get larger and higher.”

2023 WSOP Dates Confirmed; Preliminary Schedule of Occasions Launched

Calum Grant

Editor & Stay Reporter

Calum has been part of the PokerNews group since September 2021 after working within the UK vitality sector. He performed his first hand of poker in 2017 and instantly fell in love with the sport. Calum’s proudest poker achievement is successful the one event he has ever performed in Las Vegas, the celebrated $60 Flamingo night occasion.

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