Team Full Tilt superstar Phil Ivey believes “the best players” in the world will be attracted to the online poker site’s newly announced high-stakes tournament that possesses a total prize pool estimated to be a staggering $30million.
The Onyx Cup is a series based event with buy-ins set between $100,000 and $300,000 across six preliminary contests that will culminate in a Grand Final to be held in Las Vegas on May 11. There will be a $250,000 buy-in for the final, which is to also see an extra $1million added to the prize fund.
Cup events will be held in the USA, Europe and Asia and will be broadcast in 20 languages within 40 countries. The qualifiers, which begin this week on Full Tilt Poker, are open to anyone with enough cash for the buy-ins.
The leading three finishers from each tournament will receive points toward the Onyx Cup leader board, while the top player following the Grand Finale will win the Onyx Cup trophy and a luxury sports car.
Ivey, who was joined by Erik Seidel, Gus Hansen, Tom Dwan and Patrik Antonius to announce the new event, said: “It gets my blood pumping. It’s not just about the money – in this event it’s more about playing with the calibre of players that we’re going to be up against.
“You know, playing against the best players, and a lot of these guys here at the table are my friends and we’re friendly, but we’re also super competitive against each other. There’s going to be a lot of pride that comes along with winning this event.”
Other Full Tilt pros, such as Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer, John Juanda and Erick Lindgren, will also appear at the final.
Meanwhile, the PartyPoker Big Game is to call at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham on April 15-17. The 48-hour cash game will see such globally recognised players as Tony G, Jennifer Tilly, Neil Channing, Annette Obrestad and Robert Williamson III take their places in what is shaping up to be a truly star-studded field.
David Peat was the big winner last year, collecting more than $147,000 after playing the whole two-day event.
Once again, it’s not only professionals who can take part as PartyPoker has supplied nine packages of $15,000 each – made up of the $13,000 buy-in and a $2000 bonus – which can be won by taking part in three points races that take place from March 21 to April 3. A first or second-placed finish guarantees an entry to the main event.
However, also on offer are $20,000 of leader board prizes and $10,000 in freeroll rewards that can be won during a succession of points races for high, medium and low buy-in players.
Elsewhere, the Grosvenor Victoria Casino in London should see a packed field for tomorrow’s GUKPT (Grosvenor UK Poker Tour) festival event. The main event begins at midday with hopefuls aiming to emulate JC Tran, who last year collected £127,800 after seeing off a final table that included such big names as Vicky Coren, Laurance Houghton, Channing and Leon Bui.
Finally, Victor Chandler Poker is to sponsor the Poker in the Pub league. Poker in the Pub hosts free events in 150 locations all over the UK and has approximately 20,000 active players.