New App Helps Players at PokerStars Live Events, But Will There Even Be Any in Canada?

The new app from PokerStars lets players at live poker events follow the action from their mobile phones, but Canadians may have to travel in order to use it.
New App Helps Players at PokerStars Live Events, But Will There Even Be Any in Canada?
August 25, 2022

We plan to add more features in the future, such as live notifications for specific tournaments, a personalized log-in area, notifications for people on waiting lists, & many more. Live poker is back with a vengeance after the recent pandemic cooldown, and PokerStars is looking to improve the live series experience for its players. The {recently released PokerStars Live app brings all the details on upcoming and active PokerStars Live poker events.

The app is aimed at live tournament regulars, first and foremost, but it is worth having even for those who only play occasionally. With the new PokerStars Live app, players can find out details about currently running and future events.

Among the relevant bits of data players will get at their fingertips are event schedules, venue details, tournament clocks, chip counts, and much more. EPT Tournament Director Toby Stone says this is just the beginning as well.

“We plan to add more features in the future, such as live notifications for specific tournaments, a personalized log-in area, notifications for people on waiting lists, and many more.”

Stone added that he thinks the new app will be “very handy for players.” “We even have a banner for important live information, so for example, if we think a tournament will sell out, we can put it on the app. That way, the players have info in advance, can come early to register, and avoid being turned away if we reach a cap.”

PokerStars Live App Keeps Players Informed

PokerStars Live App Main ScreenPokerStars Live App Tournament ClockFinding a way around major tournament events can be daunting, even for the most experienced of players. The action can get chaotic, with multiple events running simultaneously in different parts of the venue. Knowing both where to be and when to be there is very important.

The new app gives players an easy way to check out the schedule as a whole, both for current events and future ones. But in addition to the general series info, it also provides detailed information on blind structures, ongoing tournaments’ updates, and much more.

The app can help players save time and ensure they do not miss out on the events they want to play. On top of the general tournament data available through the app, players can access live tournament clocks. Hence, they know down-to-the-minute what is happening and almost real-time players’ chip stack data during the money phase.

The new PokerStars app also provides info like total chips in play, current standings, average stack, payouts, and other relevant details that are often not easy to acquire without visiting the tournament floor.

Is PokerStars Live in Canada?

Canadian players might be wondering if the new PokerStars Live app will list any Canadian dates in the coming weeks and months. Unfortunately, Canucks may have to continue traveling internationally to attend PokerStars live events.

Much of Canada is currently in a bit of legal limbo regarding branded live poker events. While the situation with real money Ontario online poker has recently changed with the introduction of provincially licensed poker providers serving poker to an Ontario-specific player pool back in April. Most of Canada has no regulations regarding online poker.

While playing poker online on global clients like PokerStars isn’t illegal for most Canadian players, the operators still work in a legal grey area in most Canadian provinces. Due to their grey market status, they can continue to operate but have restricted access to advertising or branding due to provincial regulations surrounding live gaming.

That makes it extremely challenging for online operators to run branded tournaments in most of Canada. The live venues they need to partner with are almost all provincially regulated, with strict rules about the legal status of entities with which they partner. That leaves most international poker providers out in the cold as far as Canadian live tournaments are concerned.

With the newly regulated environment in Ontario, it is certainly possible that branded PokerStars live events could legally run in Ontario casinos. However, outside of the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, Ontario, the live poker scene in Ontario is pretty limited, especially in terms of venues that could handle a big international poker tour stop. Even Fallsview currently struggles with the demand during its WPT Poker Classic, so the current capacity for live poker in Ontario is questionable.

Outside of Ontario, there is really only one venue that might host a PokerStars Live Event without drastic legal changes to Canadian laws and provincial regulations, Playground Poker Club in Kahnawake. While the club is technically situated within the Canadian province of Québec, Kahnawake also exists in something of its own legal world as an Indigenous nation within Canada and, as such, has more freedom regarding gaming regulations than other venues in Canada.

Playground Poker Club has played host to PokerStars’ live events in the past, including the 2014 PokerStars Canada Cup. That tournament featured one of the wildest final hands in live poker history when Robert Notkin won a four-way all-in to take down the title.

While Playground is undoubtedly the best legal option for PokerStars Live in Canada right now, that venue comes with its challenges. Not least of them is a long-standing partnership between Playground and rival live and online brand partypoker, as well as WPT and WSOP. While that doesn’t preclude PokerStars from joining the group, the existing partnerships might make it uncomfortable for both sides.

Outside of Playground, however, sadly, the prospects for a Canadian PokerStars Live stop are minimal. Other venues, which might accommodate the size and scope of such a festival, like the Deerfoot Inn & Casino in Calgary or Edmonton’s Pure Poker, would all likely run into regional regulation issues if they tried to step up to host a live event for Pokerstars.

The new PokerStars Live app will help Canadians find their way around any international PokerStars Live stops they may attend. Sadly though, it is unlikely they will be able to use the app for a festival on their own soil any time soon.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VACPG) helpline at 1-888-532-3500

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