The WPT Russia is underway with Day 1A of the Main Event kicking off at the Casino Sochi on February 22nd. But you haven’t missed it, there are four flights for the main event and thirteen side events.
The full series will be running until Sunday, February 28th, 2021.
During the week-long series, there will be fourteen events. These have buy-ins ranging from ₽7,980 + ₽770 (about $120 total) to the Main Event which has a buy-in of ₽222,810 + ₽22,190 (about $3,300 total). There are a number of variants including Omaha games and bounty tourneys.
Several of the final tables will be streamed through Party’s PartyPokerLIVE service. To watch these events online, you will need to sign up for a free account on the PartyPokerLIVE website. There is a fair amount of other content on there too. Party streams their own online tourneys there and their partnership with the WPT allows them to broadcast many of the tour’s other events.
For the most enjoyable experience, make sure you know how to play before you hit the tables or tune in to watch.
You can see the trailer for the event in the WPT’s Twitter post below. They captioned the post with: “The road to the next WPT Champion begins at [Sochi Casino]. “
How to get to the events
For those who want to actually play rather than just spectate, it is not too late.
The casino is located just outside the main resort city of Sochi. It is up the mountains a little way. As a result, you’ll need to arrange transport to the casino and it’s nearby hotels. This is especially true, if you are flying in.
The casino has dress-code forbidding sportswear, but it is otherwise pretty casual. You can buy in with cash or card, though you will need to pay in the local currency so make sure your bank will do rouble transactions before the cashier tries to ring your buy-in up.
Sochi is Russia’s largest resort city and so has excellent air links with the world as well as the rest of Russia. The city is also situated on a motorway, has excellent rail connections (about ₽2,000 from Moscow), and is on a reasonably priced 27-hour bus route from Astrakhan.
While you’re there, if poker doesn’t fill your time, there’s a ton of other local attractions. The steep incline into the mountains means has skiing and beachfront within a few hours of one another. There are nearby national parks, and the main city of Sochi has its own ballet, a sports park, and a statue of the Yalta three that’s worth a look.
In terms of accommodation, the casino has an attached hotel and there are a few other hotels and boarding houses nearby if you want to shop around for prices.
Russian COVID safety guidelines
Sochi has been open for a while now despite COVID.
Be warned: Russian standards for protection against COVID are relatively lax. There is no COVID safety info on the Casino Sochi website, so expect things to be a little loose.
Poker tables are listed as playing 10-handed. At previous events held at the casino during the COVID crisis, masks were not mandatory for non-staff-members and there were no plexiglass dividers.
It is still probably best to bring a mask with you for your own personal health and safety.
Besides, the rules could change at any moment. With this in mind, please remember to check for any travel advice in Sochi and in your departure location. Though, if you’re watching from home all by yourself, the pressure’s off.
Featured image source: Twitter