The poker community is abuzz with the news that Full Tilt Poker will hold a series of mega-high stakes games, to be known as the ONYX cup.
Kicking off in early May, the ONYX cup will be a series of six high stake tournaments. The buy-in for the first five games of the series will be $100,000. The final game will have a buy in of $250,000 and a cool One Million dollars added to the prize pool.
The winner of the ONYX cup will be declared after the final event, with only the top three players from each event gaining points. In addition to sharing in the estimated $30million in cash prizes, the winner of the ONYX cup will receive a luxury sports car and the title of world’s best high stakes player.
It is the exclusivity of this event that has the poker world licking its lips. In big tournament fields, it is increasingly difficult to see the big names square off against each other. This format will see the best in the world going head to head for some of the biggest prizes seen in tournament history.
The stakes associated means amateurs will find it difficult to make this field, leaving only the cream of the poker world to fight it out.
However you don’t need the bankroll of a pro to take part in ONYX series. Full Tilt Poker are running a range of satellites to one of the richest tournaments in poker history.
And one lucky amateur will find themselves sitting in what will arguably be one of the hottest fields in poker history. Players who make it through the initial freeroll rounds will be able to fight it out in the final freeroll for a free ticket to the ONYX cup.
There are also a series of cash satellites ranging in buy-in from $75 – $2100.
It is believed that the winner of this event will be viewed as the game’s premier player. Only players who make a very decent living from poker will able to play, giving the ONYX cup the ability to be seen the yardstick for the top pro’s.
Big name pro’s Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen, Patrick Antonius, Tom Dwan, Erik Seidel, Howard Lederer, Erick Lindgren and John Juanda are believed to be entrants into the tournament because of their ties to Full Tilt Poker.
One aspect of the ONYX cup sure to raise a few eyebrows will be the introduction of a ‘shot clock’. Players will be required to act within thirty seconds or they will be checked or folded. At the start of each day players will receive three ‘time chips’. Two of these chips will buy a player 30 seconds, while the third will buy a player two minutes.
The ONYX cup series will be filmed on a purpose built stage and broadcast to over 40 television networks around the world.
The ONYX cup series will begin in May in Las Vegas. The second event will be held in June, also in Vegas. Events three, four and five will be held in September and October throughout Asia and Europe with exact destinations for these games yet to be finalized. The grand finale of the ONYX cup will be held in December in Las Vegas.