If you have had enough of the cold, wind and rain, and cannot wait for summer to start, pack your bags and head to Spain for three months of great live poker.
Many players contemplating a poker-playing visit to Spain this year will have already earmarked June 14-19 on their calendars for the Marbella Poker Festival. However, while winter takes its time to evolve into spring throughout most of Northern Europe, April and May could present particularly rewarding opportunities for players taking a break on the Iberian Peninsula.
Prior to the Marbella Poker Festival, two major events take place over the next couple of months in Spain and Portugal – the “Circuito Nacional de Poker” tournament on the Costa del Sol and the WPT National Iberia, which has starting flights played simultaneously in Porto, Madrid and Barcelona, before the conclusion of the event takes place in Madrid.
April – The Circuito Nacional de Poker
The Circuito Nacional de Poker is now in its fifth year and has grown in popularity with each season. Almost 400 players took part in the first leg of this year´s tour in Valencia in March – resulting in a prize pool approaching €200,000. Eventual winner Andres Boluda took home a first prize of €35,000 and a seat in the season finale in Madrid after a momentous final table that saw him overturn a 2-to-1 deficit against Mihai Croitoru in the heads-up – including cracking Croitoru´s pocket Aces with Trip Jacks!
Leg 2 of this year´s tour takes place from 13th to 17th April at the Torrequebrada Casino in Benalmadena – around 15Km from Malaga Airport. The CNP Main Event has a buy-in of €500.00 + €50.00 with a likely prize pool again approaching €200,000. A full schedule of side events and cash games will support the Main Event during the five days of action and more information about this leg of the tour can be found on the Circuito Nacional de Poker website. Alternatively, for a taster of what is in store, watch the video below:
May – The WPT National Iberia
The €1 million guaranteed WPT National Iberia is the first “Multi Venue Series” being trialled by the World Poker Tour. The €675 + €75 buy-in event will have two opening flights on May 12th and 13th played simultaneously at the Casino Espinho in Porto, the Gran Casino Madrid and the Casino Barcelona. Days 2 and 3 will also be played simultaneously over May 14th and 15th until just 7% of the combined field remains. The remaining platers will then resume battle over May 21st and 22nd at the Gran Casino Madrid until a winner is determined.
The concept behind the “Multi Venue Series” is that it allows players to compete at a local venue until they are deep into the money – reducing their costs while enabling them to aim for a life-changing first prize. The last time a WPT National event was held in Spain (October 2014), 515 players took part – implying that the total entry for the first “Multi Venue Series” event could top 1,500 players and create a prize pool well in excess of the tournament´s €1 million guarantee.
Speaking about the first of three planned Multi Venue Series (the next two are planned for October 2016 and January 2017), the Head of WPT Europe – Hermance Blum – said:
The introduction of the MVS Presents: WPT National Iberia Main Event is a testament to the World Poker Tour’s constant evolution, and the innovative partnerships the WPT has secured worldwide. We have already experienced great success in Spain with both the WPT Main and National Tours, and we look forward to our first-ever event in Portugal as we bond together these two emerging markets to generate a massive prize pool for our players.
June – The Marbella Poker Festival
Undoubtedly the biggest event of the spring in Spain is the Marbella Poker Festival. Running from June 14th to 19th, the Marbella Poker Festival brings together the Estrellas Poker Tour (ESPT) and the UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) in one mighty festival at the H10 Andalucia Plaza Hotel in Puerto Banus.
Last year, 841 players took part in the Marbella Poker Festival Main Event, with Spain´s Isidoro Barreño taking home €807,360; while previous winners include [geolink href=”https://www.pokernewsreport.com/ludovic-geilich-wins-ukipt-marbella-main-event-12987″]Ludovic Geilich[/geolink] (2013) and [geolink href=”https://www.pokernewsreport.com/rodrigo-espinosa-wins-ukipt-marbella-main-event-16673″]Rodrigo Espinosa[/geolink] (2014). The Main Event is complimented by a full side event schedule that include the €2,000 + €200 buy-in ESPT High Roller event and the €300 + €30 buy-in Marbella Cup event.
Sub-satellites to the Marbella Poker Festival Main Event from €2.75 are already running on [geolink href=”pokernewsreport.com/pokerstars”]PokerStars[/geolink], where the first €2,140 package goes up for grabs this coming Sunday (April 10th at 15:00 ET – direct buy-in €215.00). In addition to entry into the ESPT/UKIPT Marbella Main Event, players who win packages to the Marbella Poker Festival will also have their accommodation paid for and €200 towards their travelling expenses.