Online Poker Now Available to BC Residents on PlayNow.com

This weekend, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation announced that players registered on their online gambling site PlayNow.com are now able to play poker against others in British Columbia and Quebec. PlayNow will be running a massive $100,000 freeroll tournament on March 27th but players need to qualify by March 19 through a series of daily and weekly freeroll qualifiers.

1st Qualifying Round:

Daily Freeroll Satellite Tournaments

Starting at noon daily, satellite tournaments run every 90 minutes. There are eight satellites every day. That’s approximately 56 satellites each week over 4 weeks (Please note there may be less than 56 satellites during any one week time period due to scheduling)

Registration is free and you can play as many 1st round satellite tournaments as you like. Each week, the top 30 players in each of the 56 satellites move up to the 2nd qualifying round.

Look for MULTI-TABLE TOURNAMENTS under the TABLES tabs in the Poker Lobby and get into one of the many satellites. Good Luck!

2nd Qualifying Round:

Weekly Freeroll Satellite Tournaments

Every Saturday at 5PM PT, the qualifying players from the 1st round will play in the 2nd Qualifying Round satellite freeroll. The first weekly satellite tournament will be held on Feb 26, 2011. It’s all free, and the top 100 players in each 2nd Qualifying Round tournament will earn a seat in the $100,000 Grand Finale. Over the 4 weeks, at least 400 players will move on to the Grand Finale.

Grand Finale:

Tournament with a guaranteed prize pool of $100,000

Sunday March 27, 2011 at 2 PM PT

The tournament winner will pocket $20,000. The top 500 finalists in the Grand Finale will win a cash prize.

Satellites start after February 18th, and will be run until the 19th of March.

The Quebec poker room EspaceJeux.com that shares the same Canadian Poker Network with BCLC has been active since last December. The increase in player liquidity from the West will mean more players, more tables and variety and bigger tournaments like the $250,000 tournament that ran a week ago for players from Quebec.

PlayNow.com has numerous responsible gambling safeguards built-in to the site, including GameSense education on players’ screens; easy access to odds and factual game information; age restriction and geo-location and residency verification; a session log displaying the amount of time a player has spent online; and a pre-set deposit limit with a 24-hour restriction on all increase requests. For parents interested in blocking minors’ access to gambling websites, BetStopper software is available as a free download to install on home computers.

In addition to poker, customers registered on PlayNow.com can also choose from a variety of games of chance in five categories; Casino, Bingo, Sports, Lottery and Games.

Players can play eight poker variants including Texas Hold’em and Canadian Stud which is played the same way as 5-Card Stud except that there are two extra combinations: a four-card Flush and a four-card Straight.

Canadian Poker Network operations are based in Canada. The system is housed in a Montreal-based data centre and poker network operations are in the National Operations Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick.

It will also be interesting to see whether other Canadian lotteries jump on board to offer online poker to residents in their provinces.

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