Feb 18, 2021
By Lisa Yiasemides
The World Poker Tour is thrilled to return to the live felt in Russia, as Casino Sochi gets ready to welcome players to the festival from tomorrow, right through to the end of February.
The casino is not only one of the most beautiful venues on the WPT tour, but it also boasts some of the most stunning scenery to be found on any poker stop. The Caucasus Mountains provide the backdrop and entertainment – with many players using their time away from the tables to hit the slopes.
The casino is located in the resort of Krasnaya Polyanna (about 30km outside of Sochi), and it doesn’t only cater to adrenaline junkies and those who like to get active. There is also a good selection of bars and restaurants dotted around the small, picturesque village, and a winter market just moments from the casino. Check out the video from Alex Gray, which highlights some of the best the area has to offer.
Once you’ve had your fill of exploring, there will be plenty on offer inside to keep you occupied for a full ten days of poker!
The Opener will kick-start the series. The two-day event will feature a ₽57,750 buy-in and four starting flights, and all players who make it through to Day 2 will return in the money. Days 1a, 1b and 1c will take place at 16:30 (local time) tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday, each featuring 30-minute blind levels. On Sunday night, Day 1d will take place at 21:00 with fast-paced 20-minute blinds on the clock.
On top of that, there are the ₽38,500 Bounty, ₽15,400 Ladies, and ₽57,750 Super Bounty events taking place this weekend. All of this will get players nicely warmed up ahead of the flagship event of the festival, the ₽245,000 Main Event, which will get going from Tuesday 23 February.
The four-day event will feature 60-minute blinds and a 40,000-chip starting stack, giving players a huge amount of room to play. Each starting flight will start at 12 pm, with Day 1b on Wednesday and Day 1c on Thursday, before the turbo 1d flight gets underway at 18:00 that evening. Blinds will be cut in half for this one, with a 30-minute clock for each level.
Aleksey Badulin scored a career-best result of $261,572 for the win last January, after coming out on top of a 489 field. The reigning champion has confirmed he will return to defend his title and has every intention of doubling down on his victory when he comes back to play. Speaking to WPT the Russian is raring to go and will do all he can to have his name etched on the Mike Sexton Champions Cup for a second time.
Likewise, another of last year’s big winners, Garik Tamasyan, will likely return as one of Casino Sochi’s regular players. The High Roller winner collected $88,028 last year – his second-highest recorded live result.
This year, the High Roller will cost ₽385,000 and will get underway at 17:00 on Monday 22 February, the day before the Main. Day 2 will take place at 14:00 on Tuesday, with the third and final day beginning at the earlier time of 12:00 on Wednesday.
The WPT team may not be on the ground during the series but we wouldn’t let the small matter of distance stand in our way of delivering regular, quality updates that are expected on any WPT tour. A well-organised plan will ensure we keep our fingers on the pulse and don’t miss a moment of the action, even from afar.
The next instalment will be headed your way on Sunday 21 February and from next week, the updates will be daily as the heat gets turned up in the Main Event. Furthermore, the Main will feature live reporting from Day 2 right the way through to its conclusion. And, if all that wasn’t enough, there will be regular updates on social media too.