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In March 2018 the PokerStars Championship will return to Sochi, Russia, for the second time.
While PokerStars just had an event in Sochi in October, that one was part of its smaller buy-in festival series.
The main event attracted 699 players to the dazzling resort on the Black Sea and spearhead of Russian poker, Vladimir Troyanovskiy, finished second.
This time around it’ll get the full championship treatment and the main event will have a guarantee of €2.2 million (RUB150 million).
Springtime in Russia
Not everything about the upcoming PSC schedule has been publicized yet, but here’s what’s already official.
The full Championship schedule will take place March 20-29 with the main event scheduled for March 23-29.
The main event will have a buy-in of €2,830 (RUB192,000) and a guaranteed prize pool of €2.2 million.
This is the lowest buy-in for a PokerStars main event in their premier tournament series since Season 1 of the EPT.
Re-Entry, High Roller Included
PokerStars has added the clause “single entry per starting day,” which leaves some room for interpretation, but likely means that players who bust on Day 1A will be allowed to re-enter on Day 1B.
There will be a High Roller event for €9,000 (RUB617,000) with a single re-entry. A PokerStars National Championship with a €975 buy-in (RUB66,000) and a Sochi Cup for €280 (RUB19,000) will also run.
The location of the event is the Sochi Casino and Resort in Estosadok Village, which is Russia’s most popular holiday resort.
Second PSC in Sochi
PokerStars hosted a PSC in Sochi last May with the buy-in then twice what it will be now. The main event guarantee was also the same RUB150 million.
The main event didn’t reach the guarantee which meant the players got to enjoy quite an overlay. There were 387 players in that main event, which means that this time PokerStars will have to attract more than twice as many to reach the 150 million.
There were several reasons why the first PSC didn’t have the turn-out it was supposed to. The event was scheduled relatively late, and it was moved to the end of May after the PSC Monte Carlo and to a time when many players were already on the way to the WSOP.
Also, it was the third new destination on the new PSC calendar after Panama and Macau in March/April, which probably was a bit too much travelling even for professional tournament players.
For 2018 the schedule has been scaled down and the PSC Sochi has hence become more accessible. It is now scheduled for the end of March, meaning that it’ll take over the spring slot from the events in Panama and Macau.
PSC Schedule First Half of 2018
Although there hasn’t been an official finalization for the first half of the 2018 PSC schedule, it’s very likely going to look like this:
January 6-14, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Paradise Island, Bahamas. (NOTE: The last direct satellite runs on November 5!)
March 20-29, PSC Sochi, Russia
May 2018, PSC Monte Carlo
On the immediate horizon is the PSC Prague, running December 7-18. You’ll shortly find more information here on PokerListings.
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