It is impossible to know what 2018 will deal the poker world, but it is possible to look ahead. One week into the new year, Poker Central peers into the crystal ball and attempts to predict what 2018 has in store. From the world’s biggest events to who will have the most successful campaign to the story lines we will follow in 2018, Poker Central will spend the week looking ahead.
PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event
For years, the PCA boasted some of the world’s biggest tournaments. High Rollers and Super High Rollers have always drawn well, but last year’s Main Event was the smallest field since 2006. A smaller buy-in in 2017 was supposed to have the opposite effect, but that downward trend could have mainly been because of PokerStars’ live events re-brand. One year later, the PCA is back with traditional branding and a $10,000 buy-in. After a record-breaking WPT Five Diamond event, all eyes are on the PCA Main Event numbers. A big number could mean good things for poker in 2018, a small number would be alarming.
U.S. Poker Open
Last year, Poker Masters brought the world’s best players together for a week of high stakes tournament action. Poker Masters will return for a second run later this year, but the first major on PokerGO in 2018 will be the U.S. Poker Open. The eight-event series will feature both No Limit Hold’em and mixed game events, including the $25,000 USPO Mixed Game Championship. The entire series will be live streamed on PokerGO and while the players involved won’t be known until the first event begins on February 1, the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Brian Rast, and more have already expressed interest.
World Poker Tour Tournament of Champions
Since the World Poker Tour debuted the TOC in 2016, there have been some people that have been for and some people that have been against the change to the WPT’s biggest event. There is no debating this though, that moving the event to Las Vegas is a positive. The 2018 version of the Tournament of Champions will be held at ARIA Resort & Casino and that should not only help bump the field size, but also the star-power of the event. Big name players should be in or around Vegas at the start of the summer and the TOC should reap those rewards.
THE BIG ONE for One Drop
Since 2015, the Super High Roller Bowl has been the biggest event in the world. This year though, THE BIG ONE returns to the top of the poker food chain. The $1,000,000 buy-in event has run at the World Series of Poker as an open event twice, in 2012 and 2014, and will return after an exclusive event for non-professionals ran in 2016. How big THE BIG ONE will get remains to be seen, but the summer will end with a bang thanks to the return of this monster event.
“Poker After Dark”
From an event that takes place once every two years, to events that happen multiple times per month. Last year, Poker After Dark rebooted in August and over the next few months, featured the likes of Tom Dwan, Antonio Esfandiari, Daniel “Jungleman” Cates, Bill Perkins, Phil Galfond, Phil Hellmuth, Maria Ho, Doyle Brunson, and more. The lineups were a who’s who of poker legends, both past, present, and future, and all signs point to even bigger games and more legendary lineups in 2018.