The action would pick up in the first two weeks of February on the live poker tournament circuit, with a flurry of events to kick off 2012 in earnest as most smaller events tried to stay out of the way in January of big popular events like the PCA and Aussie Millions.
3’s the magic number
Three events smaller events — GSOP Live Salzburg, EMOP Prague, and Genting Star City — would all run in the first week of February, setting the stage for bigger EPT and WPT events like the famous WPT Venice.
GSOP Live Salzburg would see German Thomas Butzhammer take down the title and €62,760 in cash, with Markus Jenisch finishing runner-up for €40,580.
EMOP Prague would see Swede Nils Jarefjäll take down the title and €52,277, with Pim van Wieringen (who has played as a PartyPoker online qualifier at several different live events) finishing second for €41,963.
Brit Ruslan Vlasov would win the inaugural event on the new Genting Poker live tour, pocketing £16,600 when he defeated Neil Ryder (£13,700) in heads-up play.
EPT Deauville would generate another big field and a huge payday of €875,000 for winner Vadzim Kursevich, who outlasted a record field of 891 players.
The World Poker Tour would then take front and center stage, with WPT Venice running from February 6-10 in lovely Venice. The world’s oldest operating casino — Casino di Venezia — would provide an elegant backdrop for the action, which saw celebrity magician Dynamo on hand to amzze and delight players as well as WPT commentating luminaries Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten.
Russian Rinat Bogdanov would eventually claim the title and €229,800, with Alessandro Longobardi coming runner-up (€111,700). Andrea Dato would finish third (€72,275 after pulling off the impressive feat in making back-to-back final tables in the last two WPT events held in Venice.
The WPT action would quickly hop over to the US where the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open in Hollywood, FL would take place on February 10-15. Florida native Matt Juttelstad would win one for the home crowd there, with his win worth $268,444 coming after a spur-of-the-moment decision to play in the tournament as he was in the Miami area for an interview for admission to grad school.
Make Vienna Your Next Stop
As far as upcoming WPT stops, online qualifying is already underway at PartyPoker for WPT Vienna, with $7,000 trip packages up for grabs. PartyPoker players can also take a shot at winning $13,000 packages for the next Premier League Poker event in Vienna, which might be your ticket to a $125,000 entry into the Premier League Poker 5 Final in Vienna! So make sure you qualify today only on Party Poker!