PokerStars has announced that it will inaugurate its brand new poker room in London’s historic Hippodrome Casino on March 4. It may be recalled that PokerStars had signed a deal with Hippodrome, according to the terms of which it was to open a poker room on the premises of the Hippodrome.
The old poker gaming facility at the Hippodrome has been given a complete facelift and PokerStars will run cash poker games 24/7 in the renovated venue. The poker gaming operator also plans to run live poker tournaments throughout the year.
The first live poker tournament of any significance, scheduled to be held at PokerStars LIVE starting April 12, is the London leg of the UK and Ireland Poker Tour.
Poker players can qualify for these live poker events both in the online poker room as well as the live poker room. The Hippodrome is all set to host the Winter Classic, its first poker tournament series, which is scheduled to be run this weekend. PokerStars has already begun organizing satellite qualifiers for the benefit of players who would like to take part in the Winter Classic. PokerStars will be helping the Hippodrome organize this event although it will not be held in the newly renovated poker room.
As part of the deal signed between PokerStars and the Hippodrome last October, the online gaming operator will run a poker website under the brand name of Hippodrome and this new online poker room will be powered by Microgaming software.
Simon Thomas, chairman for the Hippodrome, said:
The poker room’s luxury interior design has been developed to take poker to a new level, catching the interest of all national and international players.
… our ambition is to create a fabulous environment in which to play poker, with great lighting, comfortable seating and the audiovisual support to the needs of the poker player.
PokerStars’ move to launch a new poker room in the Hippodrome is part of its strategy to enter the land poker gaming industry. In December, the online poker gaming operator signed a similar agreement with Casino Gran Madrid, and PokerStars’ poker room in Casino Gran Madrid is likely to be launched early in 2013.
In Jan 2013, PokerStars confirmed that it intends to acquire the struggling Atlantic Club Casino Hotel. PokerStars also owns a small share of a land casino in Belgium and once used to run a land poker venue in Macau.