online poker tournaments

Simpler, Faster, Lighter…

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Published on: January 8, 2015

After struggling with how to get all the important tournament information up on the site, we have decided to keep it simple. A monthly update with a list of tournaments and links to the important information will be both easier for us to keep up with as well as faster and simpler for you to read.

Each month’s update will be ready well ahead of time, so you can plan your future trips, though it may take us a few weeks to get caught up and have updates through April on the site. We expect those updates to be live within a few weeks.

We would also appreciate any help you can offer in getting the information as early as possible. The sooner we get info from a card room, the sooner we can get it up on the site. Contact our lead content author at blindstraddle@gmail.com with ideas or information on upcoming tournaments.

Site Updates

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Published on: December 5, 2014

The site has been having issues for a few days, but our tech team is working diligently to get things right and we thank you for your patience. Once this technical issue is fixed we will be implementing a few changes.

Going forward, site updates will happen on Tuesdays. Every Tuesday we will scour the web for newly announced tournaments and list them here on Tourney Tracks. We search more than 20 websites in addition to getting information directly from the casinos themselves to list every major poker tournament in North America and we are rededicating ourselves to making sure that we have coverage of every event as far in advance as possible.

We will also be posting events in a new format. The site will still be searchable by month, state, or series, allowing you to find the events you are looking for in just a click or two, but each event will presented in a new way. A simple posting format that helps us get the events up faster and helps you get the information you want quickly.

We have identified four factors that we think will help you decide whether a tournament series is right for you. Each factor is rated on it’s own scale, helping you to determine whether a series is right for you.

Expenses – (Low/Medium/High/Baller) – Travel expenses and the money that you spend in a casino to eat, drink, and spend the night after a long day at the tables, can have a big influence on the overall value of a tournament series. To find this number, we will look at everything from flights into nearby airports and rental cars to the price of food and hotel rooms on the property as well as rooms at other properties nearby.

Buy-In - (Low/Medium/High/Baller) – We provide information on any tournament series with one tournament with a buy-in of $1,000 or more, or three events with buy-ins of $200 or more. If the series is mostly high roller events, then we will rate it Very High, while a series with mostly $100 and $200 events will be rated as Very Low even if it has a larger main event.

Expected Field Size – (Small/Medium/Large) – Some players prefer huge field sizes because of the large first place prizes, while others prefer the lower variance of smaller field sizes. We will look at attendance of the event, or similar events, over the last few years and rate the field size based on what we expect to see.

Value (Poor/Fair/Good) – The structure of the events, starting stack sizes, tournament fees, and strength of the fields, will all factor into the value of a tournament series. High juice or bad structures will affect this number more than any other factors.

What is online poker really worth?

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Published on: September 25, 2014

Here at Tourney Tracks, we pay careful attention to the return of online poker to the United States. We know that online poker was the primary contributor to the poker boom of the 2000’s and it’s return to America could bring more live poker tournaments to an already booming market.

While there is a federal bill that could legalize online poker throughout the country, it isn’t likely to actually allow online poker in your state. In fact it may not do anything even if it passes because states want to regulate poker on their own, without interference from the federal government. Whether you take this as a good or a bad thing depends on your views on online poker, but it is likely that legalized online poker and regulation will come on a state-by-state basis.

Because state-by-state is our likely pathway back to a healthy online poker economy, a new study from Morgan Stanley is very important. The study lists states where online poker is likely to return, and estimates the income that might be generated. While we don’t think our right to play the game we love should be determined by how much money can be made, we understand that this is how politics works in America these days, and without financial incentive there will be no movement in the legal system.

Poker Update has put together a fantastic infographic that explains how much money we are likely to see in states that have real potential to regulate and license online poker in the near future. with estimates from various states rising to as high as five hundred million dollars (for California) we may actually see some movement on this front. The Morgan Stanley name lends a nice chunk of credibility to some of the estimates as well.

 

Online Poker = Big Live Fields

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Published on: August 26, 2014

Chris Moneymaker was important. The hole card cam was also important. The emergence of no-limit holdem was big too. But the single largest contributor to the poker boom was the emergence of online poker, and the return of online poker to a few states is already showing promise for a boost to the live poker economy and live tournament fields.

The Borgata is a great example of this growing trend, where the poker room is often full and qualifiers for their live tournaments run at their online site. PocketFives.com, one of the most well known forums for online tournament players, sponsored an event at The Borgata at the end of July and they were able to garner a big turnout simply from online promotions and qualifiers.

The tournament buy-in was $350 and the guarantee was set at $150,000. This wouldn’t seem outrageous at the Borgata where the fields are usually large, but the three day event took place Sunday through Tuesday. Not having the weekend available would usually really hurt the size of a tournament field but with the help of online qualifiers and getting the word out through Pocket Fives, the field grew to an impressive 538 players.

If this can happen in a small state with one casino and some qualifiers, think about what could happen if the whole United States were on board. If WSoP.com was nationwide and ran qualifiers for the main event we could see twenty or thirty thousand players. Can you imagine 10 starting flights?

“What starting day did you pick?”

“I’m not sure, I’m trying to decide between 1H and 1J.”

If Poker Stars could run qualifiers for live events across the country, we could see a tour that drew thousands of participants at every stop with millions of dollars given away every week and sponsorships from beer companies. Poker players could look like Nascar drivers and poker could be back on TV in a big way.

It’s nice to dream for now, but let’s not forget that the dream isn’t unattainable. This could really happen. State by state the dominoes are falling and the huge populations of New York and California may be join up in the coming year. With PokerStars in New Jersey, WSoP.com potentially combining player pools in multiple states, and Ultimate Poker starting to make a resurgence, things could change quickly.

We are at a tipping point where online poker could come surging back or it could dwindle into nothing depending on how things go in the next 12 months. If you care about poker and want to play online, there are two things you can do.

1. Join the PPA and be active in using the tools they provide to contact government officials in your area.

2. Play on the regulated US sites when you can. If you are a resident of New Jersey or Nevada, join one of the sites there and give them some action. If you aren’t a resident, sign up when you go to visit and play a little.

Government officials are watching the growth of these sites and how many tax dollars they are generating, and the more money they make the more dominoes we will see fall and the better chance we have of seeing a second poker boom sweep across America.

Records at the WSoP

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Published on: June 28, 2014

After a few years of small declines, live tournament poker is on an upswing for the last year or two in the United States and the upswing is showing up in this year’s WSoP in a big way. The fields in almost every event are larger, and recently the Monster Stack event drew nearly 8,000 players in a single day.

While WSoP staff were expecting a large number of entrants, they were shocked by how big the field was. The Monster Stack event was the largest single day field in the history of the WSoP, and probably in the history of poker. Online tournaments have had more players often, but no live tournament has ever had so many players in one day.

The Millionaire Maker also had a huge field, drawing 6,343 players and awarding 1.3 million dollars to the winner, Jonathon Dimmig. Second place was in the high six figures as well, and the entire final table earned life changing money for a $1,500 investment.

This year’s WSoP Main Event has a ten million dollar guarantee for first place, which should drive huge numbers for poker’s biggest event. Some estimates for the field size are as high as 10,000 players, but with three starting days it shouldn’t be a problem for the Rio to handle the players.

The opening of regulated poker sites in the United States, as well as the return of Full Tilt money this spring, should continue to help the live tournament scene, but it’s the big numbers that continue to drive more big numbers by generating buzz and excitement. When players see life changing money, they buy-in, regardless of how tough it might be to win a tournament with a huge field like the Millionaire Maker or the Monster Stack.

The selection of tournaments for the late summer and fall is incredible, more tournaments than we have ever listed before, and over the next few weeks the number of events on our front page will more than double. With some excellent values and big guarantees we are seeing huge numbers from Florida, California, New Jersey, and Nevada and expect to see those numbers continue to grow.

The outlook for poker tournaments in the United States? Amazing!

WSoP.com at The Rio

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Published on: June 8, 2014

The World Series of Poker is in full swing, and WSoP.com is using the leverage of the world’s most well known poker brand to promote legal online poker to the thousands of players in the halls of The Rio every day. The WSoP is doing everything they can to roll out the red carpet for players staying at the hotel as well as in the halls of the convention center and even in the Amazon room itself.

Beautiful WSoP girls are in the hallways with tablets, signing up players and giving out free shirts to new sign ups. The Lamabada room, just a few feet off the main hallway, has customer support specialists for players on WSoP.com as well as a window to deposit cash directly into your WSoP.com online poker account.

The Rio does not just allow online poker on WSoP.com in the poker room, they encourage it by setting up a stage in the main room where online players can connect to free internet and play online while their friends play live poker nearby.

This focus on promoting the online poker room at WSoP.com serves two valuable purposes.

Getting players signed up in mass quantities gives them a nice lead on their competitors as they all strive to reach critical mass where they have enough players to keep lots of games running day and night. The bigger an online poker site gets, the more they will grow as players play more tables, more games fill up, and players flock to the site with the largest prize pools and best game selection.

Getting a mass of players signed up early also helps the 2014 WSoP to be the largest in history, with a ten million dollar guarantee for first place in the main event and huge fields in preliminary events so far. Each day, satellites run online for the bracelet events the next day, so players can qualify online and this increases the player pools along with generating traffic on WSoP.com and getting players in the door.

The strategy of pushing the online site heavily on the floor of the WSoP, the biggest poker tournament series in the world, will almost certainly catapult WSoP.com far ahead of it’s competitors, and this may spread to New Jersey as well, where we do expect to see some increase in traffic, though certainly not anything like what we expect to see in Nevada.

This is a great time to sign up on WSoP.com, collect the big bonuses available right now, and get into the game while there are hundreds of new players signing up every day who may not be experienced with online poker. The games are softer now than they have ever been, and as the site grows over the next few months or years, fish will continue to flood into the site. 

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Online Poker Will Change the World – Again!

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Published on: May 6, 2014

The first time around, online poker helped bring about the poker boom, created thousands of strong, young, aggressive players, and gave the poker world a chance to analyze millions of hands to learn new things about the game. Then, at least for players in the United States, it all came crashing down.

Online poker is being rebuilt. The process is slow, taking years just to get two states to create legal and regulated online poker sites, but it will build faster as more dominoes fall and more importantly for players it is being rebuilt stronger than it was before.

Legal, regulated, online poker offers ways to do things that Full Tilt and Poker Stars could never do when they were living in a grey area. Brick and mortar casinos in the US can now have their own online poker sites or partner with online poker rooms to run satellites and work together to create huge tournaments. The Sunday Million on Poker Stars is nothing compared to what WSoP.com could do running online satellites across the United States.

Think about it for a second. Online satellites starting as small as $1 that give you the chance to win your way into a tournament held at one of hundreds of Caesars properties around the world. You win your way in and head down to your local card room for the second stage of the satellite. If you win you get a Vegas package that includes an entry into the $100,000,000 guarantee tournament at the Rio during the WSoP.

It could happen if we get regulated online poker in most of the US. In fact, it would happen, no doubt about it. The more states that legalize online play, the more interest big companies will have in working to create big prize pools and running new promotions. As online poker comes back, we are going to see things we never imagined.

Twenty years ago, no one would have imagined a ten million dollar first place prize in the main event of the WSoP, but this year it is happening. We wouldn’t have believed that tours would spring up all over the country, or that a site like Tourney Tracks would show major events all across the country every week. As online poker comes back to the US, we are going to see even more growth and we can probably expect a second poker boom as the dominoes fall.

Summer in Vegas

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Published on: April 27, 2014

It’s time to start locking up your summer schedule for poker season in Las Vegas, and we have a check list to help you plan for the summer. Make sure you have all these things done so that you can concentrate on playing when you get to Vegas.

1. Make sure you have your buy-ins taken care of. Check your bank account, find a backer, or start selling action sooner rather than later. A lot of backers and buyers only have so much cash to spend and they may be tapped by the time you get around to letting them know that you have an investment opportunity for them. Buy a Piece is a great place to sell some action, buy some action, or just learn about how the whole thing works.

2. Book your flight soon, because prices will definitely go up as the dates get closer. Search Kayak.com or set a price alert on Hotwire to get a good deal, but don’t wait long.

3. Book a place to stay through Kayak or find a place through airbnb.com where there are lots of excellent rooms and apartments available.

4. If you are going to stay somewhere other than The Rio or the Gold coast, you’ll need transportation. If you are on the strip you can take a shuttle from Bally’s every fifteen minutes for free, but if you are anywhere else you will want to rent a car. Driving in Vegas is easy, and any major poker room has valet parking. It’s best to rent a car somewhere in town, because the airport car rental places tack on big fees and are often very busy.

5. Get your game ready by studying up with some books, a training site, or a poker coach. We really like Jonathon Little’s books as well as the Winning One Hand at a Time series, both available on Amazon. Ivey Poker and CardRunners both have excellent training videos and more than enough content to keep you busy for a few weeks. If you want to get better the fastest way possible, hire a coach from the exhaustive list at poker-coach.com.

Get started with your preparation and we’ll see you in Vegas this summer!

 

Poker Day USA

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Published on: April 7, 2014

April 19th, 2014 is the day for American poker players to stand up and tell their government it’s time for the legalization of online poker.

The past 6-7 years since the passage of UIGEA have been dark times for poker players in America. Now with the regulation of online poker in Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada there is a light at the end of the tunnel. California, New York, and other major states are considering creating state-run online poker operations. However, now is not the time to be complacent since there are still powerful forces at work who would like to see online poker quashed.

Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino mogul, has decided to invest a ton of time and money into stopping regulated online poker. With money comes power and Sheldon Adelson has friends in

Congress headed by Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) who have proposed a bill to stop state-run online poker. Contrary to what they would have you believe, regulating online poker will help prevent fraud, cheating, and put an end to the wild west-like unregulated gaming we have seen for the past decade. Dare we mention the Ultimate Bet and Full Tilt disasters that resulted from unregulated online gaming? There are tens of millions of poker players in America and it’s time for their voice to stop being silenced by the will of a small number of special interest groups. April 19th, 2014 is your chance to speak up, sign a petition (insert link), tweet your congressman/senator, and generally spread the word that it’s time for regulated online poker in America!

A Big Spring

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Published on: March 31, 2014

Spring schedules are all out, and there are a ton of big events as poker rooms around the country get ready to finish up their seasons and take a few months off while the WSoP takes over the world of tournament poker.

Seventeen new updates in the last ten days have increased the number of tournaments on our list, and in the two months between today and the start of summer action in Vegas there are excellent tournament series in nearly every part of the country. With the launch of two significant new tours we expect that number to continue to climb.

Two Pair Magazine has launched their tour which appears to be a series of smaller single events around the state of California, where the magazine itself is based. Smaller regional tours like this have done well in the past, and the folks behind Two Pair Magazine know what they are doing so we expect a good showing from them. Check them out @2pairmagazine on twitter.

On a much larger national front, the Pocket Fives Poker Tour launches Tuesday April 1st at Running Aces Harness Park in Columbus, Minnesota. This will officially be their first event, though their beta test event over the holidays brought in an impressive 329 players for a $350 buy-in at Running Aces.

The Pocket Fives Poker Tour will be a series, nearly two weeks long, with multiple events each day. They have signed on a number of sponsors including Blue Shark Optics, and are working with both the Senior Poker Tour and the LIPS Ladies International Poker Tour to host ladies and seniors events at future tour stops as well. Given the traffic that pocketfives.com has on their website, we expect this tour to be a big player very soon.

The Heartland Poker Tour has also expanded to add some smaller events leading up to their $1,675 main event at most of their tour stops. This will be a nice addition for players who can’t afford to buy-in to the main event but want to be part of the action.

With 888 and WSoP.com joining the world of online poker in Nevada, and the repayment of Full Tilt funds to players in the United States, we expect a little growth in the summer series in Nevada this year, especially at the WSoP. Many players are already working on winning their way into the series by playing on WSoP.com from within the state.

 

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