Soccer teams will now host poker tourneys on their fields

Jon Pill
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Posted on: April 2, 2021 11:32 am EDT

The British Open Poker Championship has taken an unusual tack on the subject of venues. The government-imposed lockdown closed casinos and will keep them closed until July at the earliest. As a result, the BOPC is moving outside. It will be using soccer fields — or as the UK knows them: “football pitches” — as venues.

Members of the BOPC will be able to enter the 140 feeder tournaments that lead to the “Live Final” main event.

The football pitches will play host to the 120 live feeder tourneys. The other 20 of the feeders will be online at Partypoker. Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham has the honor of hosting the Live Final Event.

The football stadia chosen to host events range from the stadia of small local teams like Chelmsford FC, to internationally famed locations like Manchester United’s Old Trafford. There will even be an event on the pitch of Coventry FC’s stadium at the Ricoh Arena. The Ricoh also hosts the G Casino Coventry, home to the Goliath poker tournament. Though management shuttered the G Casino for the foreseeable future.

Hullbridge FC tweeted about its role in the upcoming series.

“Calling all Poker players!” the tweet begins. “@HullbridgeFC are proud to announce that we are a selected Venue for the British Open Poker Championship 2020. Friday 17th April 2020 Anyone can enter, just watch this space for details in the next week or so.”

How it works

The BOPC season is made up of 120 live events and 20 online tourneys that the BOPC calls “Online 2nd Chance Events.”

The first-place finishers in each of the Live Events receive £100 for travel to the Live Final. 2nd place to 6th place in the Live Events each receives a ticket for entry into the Online Semi-Final.

The Online 2nd Chance events run every Sunday at 7 PM UTC starting on May 16, 2021. The top 5% of each Online 2nd Chance event also earn entry to the Online Semi-Final.

The 120 live event winners join the top 120 finishers in the Online Semi-Finals. These 240 lucky players will compete in the Live Final. This takes place in Nottingham on October 9, 2021. This assumes that the poker room at Dusk Till Dawn will have permission to reopen by then.

Though the tournaments are free, a player must be a member of the BOPC to enter. Membership costs £1 and must be completed through partypoker. Partypoker is playing host for all of the online events including the Online Semi-Final.

Systems like this are common in the UK, where there are legal limits on the buy-ins and prize pools that one can play for outside of a casino environment.

Featured image source: Flickr