The first of what promises to be many PokerStars-branded offline poker rooms opened its doors this month at the Casino Gran Madrid in Madrid, Spain. The room showcases the new PokerStars Live brand, and initially opened to a select group of journalists, footballers, and celebrities, who competed in a tournament and took in the impressive décor of the 200 seat poker room.
Daily tournaments and cash games are what the new poker room is all about, and unsurprisingly, there will be plenty of cross-promotion between PokerStars’ online and offline operation, including online satellites to the live events.
Beyond just more poker action, the venture aimed to create an unrivalled setup that catered to the modern poker player.
“Our ambition is to create an amazing atmosphere to play poker,” said Paula Arriaga, Deputy General Director at Casino Gran Madrid, upon the announcement of the deal in December.
Early accounts are that they have succeeded mightily at doing just that. Tables and chairs are padded and stylish, and spaced at just the right intervals so players don’t feel hemmed in, but also don’t feel like they’re on an island. Lighting around the room is ambient, while being bright enough at the tables that all the action can clearly be seen. And several large TV screens are set up to keep the attention of those players who have folded pre-flop and don’t feel like fixating on all of the action at the table. It is undoubtedly a comfortable and attractive room to view and play poker in.
The room is currently offering nightly No-Limit games, as well as weekly and monthly tournaments and events, including sit’n’go’s every Thursday, and several weekend events including the Madrid Saturday Eliminator, and the Madrid Sunday Battle, a no-limit hold’em with multiple re-buys.
The PokerStars-branded offline poker room in the Gran Casino Madrid promises to be but the first of many such forays into the casino world. London, England is planned to get the next one in early March, at the Hippodrome, the largest casino in the U.K. PokerStars is also in the process of purchasing the Atlantic Club Casino in Atlantic City, their first major solo offline venture.
Coverage of PokerStars Live action and events taking place at Casino Gran Madrid, including news, photos, player profiles, and chip counts, can be seen at pokerstarsmadrid.com. Tournaments and cash game information can also be found there, as well as news coverage from the room and casino.