With the start of their first event only about six weeks away, the International Poker Association Tour announced some of the poker professionals expected to take part in their inaugural $10,000 No Limit Hold Em event in May.
The IPA Tour (formerly known as the North American Poker Tour) has announced two events so far for their 2006-2007 season. The first will be held at the Hollywood Park Casino in Los Angeles from May 8th to the 20th and the second event just recently announced will be held in New York at the Seneca Falls Casino and Resort from October 9th to the 21st. While the announcement of these events have gotten the IPA Tour off to a good start, the players announced Wednesday indicate that the Championship Event of the Hollywood Park Open will make for a highly challenging field.
The $10,000 event at the Hollywood Park Open should be a great test of poker skill. Some of the players who have been invited to play in the event and have been confirmed to play include several poker players who have achieved greatness in the game. Reigning World Champion Joseph Hachem leads the list of those who have confirmed that they will play in the event, with 2004 Player of the Year Daniel Negreanu, 2005 World Series Tournament of Champions winner Mike "The Mouth" Matusow, and World Poker Tour champions Antonio "The Magician" Esfandiari, Michael Gracz and Gavin Smith also confirming they will play.
In an interesting twist, one of the preeminent blackjack players in the world will also be stepping to the poker tables as well. Blackjack champion "Hollywood" Dave Stann, who has been honing his No-Limit poker game as well, will attempt to take a major poker championship. For those who witnessed his performance during SpikeTV's "King of Vegas" broadcasts, it should lead to some outlandish and entertaining exploits from the man who calls himself the "bad boy" of blackjack as he competes against the best in the poker world.
The twelve day tournament promises to hold tournament action across the board. While No-Limit is a big part of the event, the Hollywood Park Open also will feature tournaments ranging from Chinese Poker to a mixed game event. Qualifying tournaments for the Championship Event will be held from May 8th to the 15th and many will earn their way into the event there. The rest of the exclusive field will be made up from professional poker players who have qualified to be eligible to play in the event.
The qualification guidelines are indeed strict for the IPA Tour events; to be eligible to play in the $10,000 tournament, a player must be listed in the Top 200 of the CardPlayer or Bluff Magazine rankings or earn their way in from the qualifying tournaments during the run of the Open. While it is entering a tournament world that seems to be jammed with high profile and big dollar tournaments, the IPA Tour's first stop at the Hollywood Park Open promises to be one to watch as the 2006 tournament poker season continues on.
Ed Note: Lots of new players playing at London Poker Club Join the club today.