Midway Poker Tour runs debut event in Chicago area this weekend

Poker writer Geoff Fisk profile photo
Geoff Fisk
Posted on: September 29, 2020 13:31 PDT

New tour runs debut live tournament event Oct. 2-4

As live poker slowly begins to return to some semblance of normalcy in the U.S., a new live poker tour runs its inaugural event this weekend.

The Midway Poker Tour hits the Chicago area Oct. 2-4, making it one of the first tournament series to operate a U.S. event in the COVID-19 era. The event runs at the Sheraton Suites Chicago Elk Grove, with special COVID-19 precautions in place for the weekend series.

Those measures include a state-mandated face covering requirement, and a tournament setup that uses four different rooms at the Sheraton Suites Elk Grove. Each room will host a maximum of five tables, and the tournament will run nine-handed.

The centerpiece event for the first Midway Poker Tour stop plays as a $1,100 buy-in, $100,000 guaranteed event. The Midway Poker Tour will run the event with portions of the proceeds going to the 4 K.I.D.S. Sake charity.

$1,100 Main Event guarantees $100,000

The three-day $1,100 Main Event offers two Day 1 flights, with the survivors from those flights coming back for Day 2 and playing down to a champion.

Day 1a commences Friday, Oct. 2, with a 2 pm start time. Day 1b begins Saturday, Oct. 3 at noon, and the combined player pool making it through either Day 1 flight returns to the Sheraton Suites Chicago Elk Grove for Day 2 on Sunday, Oct. 4, at 11 am. A pair of $250 satellites to the Main Event also run Friday.

The entire event will also be streamed live, with an RFID feature table installed for the Midway Poker Tour's debut event. The eventual champion not only receives the winner's share of the $100,000 guaranteed prize pool, but also a custom Midway Poker Tour watch.

Midway Poker Tour founder Dan Bekavac is a tournament poker player with a reputation as one of the more active poker figures on social media. The tour’s slogan of “For Players, By Players” gives an indication that the Midway Poker Tour focuses on the player experience.

Midway Poker Tour joins MSPT as only operating live poker tours in the US

Some live poker rooms in the U.S. still remain closed as the COVID-19 pandemic nears the seven-month mark. All casinos in the U.S. were forced to shut down as the pandemic emerged in the spring months of 2020, but most casinos have reopened at some capacity.

In some states, however, live poker is considered to be one of the more dangerous casino activities in relation to COVID-19 spread. While cash games have returned at poker rooms that have been permitted to open, the normally robust economy of live tournament tours has almost come to a complete stop.

All live poker tours in the U.S. ceased operations from mid-March through the end of July. The Mid States Poker Tour (MSPT) marked the first U.S.-based tour to run a live event in the COVID-19 era, with the MSPT Grand Falls Casino series drawing big numbers to the Sioux Falls, South Dakota area at the end of August.

The MSPT will run two events in Las Vegas in November, as the Deepstack Extravaganza series will run from the Venetian in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.

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