The Norwegian Poker Championship has, ironically, been held on foreign soil since 2008. But, after a year-long battle by the Norway Ministry of Culture, the national tournament will take place on home turf for the first time in 2015 (Nov. 18-24).
Last year, the Ministry issued a recommendation that the country allow poker home games, tournaments, and a national poker event inside the country. The recommendation was heeded and now Norway’s first-ever legal live poker event will take place in the capital city of Oslo.
Last year, the event was hosted in Dublin and drew 1,274 players. That number is expected to go way up with the tournament taking place within Norwegian borders; in fact, more than 100 players signed-up on the first day of pre-registration and organizers are expecting a turnout of over 2,000.
Each regional championship (there are five before the final) will have a buy in of roughly US$180 (NOK1,500), but no cash prizes will be awarded; the regional championships will simply feed into the final tournament.
In keeping with the Scandinavian country’s socialist and philanthropic attitude, five-percent of buy-ins from the tournaments will be donated to The Leukemia Foundation.
The tournaments will be hosted by an offshoot of the Amaya Gaming Group: Amaya Global Poker Tours, a Canadian gaming and online gambling company.
“Expectations are high for the first event on home soil,” the company said in a press release.
While gambling laws have been reformed to allow these kinds of tournaments, online gambling in Norway is still illegal save for two state-run companies authorized to offer low-risk games.
“It’s been a long time coming, and I’m incredibly excited to finally play a major poker tournament on home soil,” PokerStars Pro and Norwegian poker legend Johnny Lodden told Cards Chat. “No matter what sport you play, there’s always something extra special about competing at home, and this is no exception.”
2015 Norwegian Championship:
Østlands Championships, Oslo, Oct. 10-11
Sørland Championships, Kristiansand, Oct. 17-18
North Championships, Bodø, Oct. 24-25
Central Championships, Trondheim, Oct. 31-Nov. 1
Western Championships, Bergen, Nov. 7-8
Norwegian Championships, Oslo, Nov. 18-24
(Photo credit: Thomas Berg, Creative Commons.)
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