By Simon Young
The forecast: blue skies, crystal-clear waters, exotic locations, first-class service, and a poker tournament that will make one lucky player rich enough to enjoy endless cruises like the PartyPoker Million VI.
To be crowned champion is a dream for all 160 or so players as they pack their bags today before flying into beautiful Venice to start the week-long voyage on the MSC Poesia. And they’ll be jetting into Marco Polo airport from all over the world: PartyPoker is sending qualifiers from as far afield as Canada, Australia, South America, South Africa and, of course, Europe.
The PartyPoker Million cruise is one of the most eagerly-anticipated tournaments in the poker calendar, and with an estimated $1.2 million in the prize pool, it attracts some of the game’s top players. Previous winners include Howard Lederer, Erick Lindgren and Kathy Liebert.
Everyone will start equal, however, when the first cards are dealt on Sunday afternoon, once all the passengers return from the first port of call – Bari in southern Italy.
They’ll have healthy starting stacks and an hour-long clock with which to manoevre themselves through the turbulant waters of no-limit Texam Hold’em tournament poker, and while some will fall early, most will be back for day two.
The trip itself also includes stops in Olympia, Greece, Izmir and Istanbul in Turkey and the walled city of Dubrovnik in Croatia. Plenty, then, for the assorted partners and families of the players to enjoy. Not that they’ll need much entertaining on top of the myriad of restaurants, bars and leisure facilities available on board.
The PartyPoker Blog will be with them all every step of the way. Watch this space for regular updates and pictures from the cruise once we set sail Saturday at 5pm CET.