With six events per year split between Calgary and Edmonton, the Pure Poker Tour offers trophies for every event and a Player of the Year race worth $15k. The opening tilt of the 2024 season kicks off at Pure Casino Edmonton on February 15, with satellites starting on February 11.
There are few spots in Canada right now with a hotter poker climate than the province of Alberta. With fewer than 5 million people, Alberta is the fourth largest province in the country, but, at the moment, it punches well above its weight class in terms of poker.
Despite the relatively small population, the two major cities in the province support no less than seven full-time poker rooms, with more active rooms to be found in smaller centers like Red Deer, Lethbridge, and Grande Prairie. It’s in this environment that the Pure Poker Tour (PPT) has emerged as a local leader for the poker series.
2023 marked the first year of an expanded six-series season on the PPT with two stops each at Pure Casino Calgary, Pure Casino Edmonton, and Pure Casino Yellowhead. In total, 7,335 entries combined for more than $4 million in prizes over the 61 events in the year.
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Six More Series On Deck for 2024
In terms of the overall schedule, the upcoming season on the PPT will look pretty similar to the breakout 2023 season. With six more events on the schedule in 2024 and venues hosting series at roughly the same times as 2023, the macro view of this season looks a lot like 2023.
On closer inspection, it won’t be a carbon copy of last year, with minor changes to the events likely for most series. Additionally, 2024 will see a revamped rewards program for the PPT and Pure Casinos as a whole with a Player of the Year race that includes results from all PPT events as well as regular deepstack games at the four Pure properties in Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton.
At stake for PoY in 2024 is a $10k buy-in to the “World’s Largest Poker Tournament in Las Vegas” worth $15k Canadian. That includes the $10k USD buy-in plus some extra juice for travel costs.
With 2023 done and dusted, it’s time to look forward to the 2024 season, which, as always, kicks off at Casino Edmonton (Argyle). Satellites are underway starting Feb 11, with main series action starting on Feb 15 with Seniors First and the open-entry First Chance Turbo.
This year marks an expanded schedule for the opening series, with 13 events planned this year compared to 11 last year. That puts this opening series on par with the 2023 Tournament of Champions and its 13-event schedule, but it marks the first time with so many events so early in the season.
Among the other highlights to look forward to in Edmonton this February are a multi-day Mystery Bounty game with Day 1s on Feb 16 & 17, a $2k High Roller starting on Feb 25, a tag-team game on Feb 17, and, of course, the $1,100 Main Event, which runs Day 1s on Feb 23 & 24. New additions to the schedule this year include a Survivor game (E6 on Feb 18) where the top 10% all get equal payouts and an innovative team satellite game on Valentine’s Day with double-ticket packages to the Main Event up for grabs.
In the post-pandemic world, Alberta has quickly established itself as the poker hotspot of Canada. There are no less than 13 poker series in the province annually running between Calgary and Edmonton, with PPT festivals making up nearly half the total.
With the exception of the summer months when all eyes in the poker world are turned to Las Vegas and the big games there, nearly every month of the year features at least one Alberta poker series, offering travelers to the region many options both on and off the tables.
Off the Felt
Both Calgary and Edmonton are world-class locations nestled in one of the most unique geographical regions in the world. From prairie and foothills to mountains and forests with tundra thrown in, Canada’s fourth most populous province offers a dizzying array of different ecosystems to explore.
Add in the vast differences between summer and winter across the province, and it’s a place that offers natural wonders aplenty within day-trip distance of the major centers where series go on. Calgary provides easy access to Banff, Drumheller, and the Royal Tyrell, and historical sites in southern Alberta, while Edmonton is within day-trip distance of places like Jasper National Park (which, along with Banff, Yoho, and Kootenay, forms a UNESCO World Heritage site), Elk Island National Park, and unique cultural experiences in small town Alberta such as the UFO Landing Pad in St, Paul’s, as well as historical flavor in Leduc, Lacombe, and Wetaskiwin.
Check out Travel Alberta for more details and options.
Despite the wealth of sites to be seen in and around the big series venues in Alberta, grinders will find little time to explore them. The upcoming opening battle on the 2024 PPT is jam-packed with multiple events per day, and no matter what series a player chooses, there is always plenty of on-the-felt action to keep them busy.
In the upcoming series at Pure Casino Edmonton, there are three multi-day events scattered into the 13-event schedule. The $1,100 Main Event and the early Mystery Bounty games both feature two starting days, while the 6-Max game has just a single opening flight but has a Day 2 scheduled to finish the game out.
Among the questions for this opening series is if Daniel Lefebvre can continue his dominance of PPT High Roller games. In September 2023, he took down the Yellowhead High Roller game, then followed that up with wins in the big games in October in Calgary and again in Nov at Yellowhead. Assuming he comes in from Saskatchewan for the event, all eyes will be watching to see if he can make it four for four.
About Pure Canadian Gaming
The Pure Poker Tour is the jewel in the crown of Alberta’s Pure Canadian Gaming. While the Pure branding is somewhat new, the operator has been working in Alberta since 1973, giving it a rich history in the province’s gaming scene, while four facilities in Edmonton, Calgary, and Lethbridge give it a wide coverage of the Alberta brick-and-mortar casino market.
The full-featured casino operations offer the complete range of options that gamers want, including table games and slots with a solid focus on poker as well. There are two active poker Pure Poker rooms in Edmonton, with one each in Calgary and Lethbridge, and good nearby hotel options for all properties.