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Betfair, one of the largest and most well respected gaming establishments in the world, has joined forces with the Amateur Poker Association and Tournament. Now, on the cusp of an APAT season which will feature 28 live events across Ireland, the UK and the European mainland, Betfair has become the exclusive host for the organization’s online qualifying tournaments.

This will be the fourth go-around for the APAT, who have grown exponentially over their first three seasons. The company’s Managing Director, Des Duffy, had this to say:

APAT launched the UK’s first national poker tour in 2006 and it has become a proving ground for new and developing players, with members winning WSOP, EPT and GUKPT titles, amongst many others. This partnership with Betfair Poker brings a well-known and respected brand to APAT, as well as a tremendous amount of additional value and opportunity for our members”.

The pairing of these two great organizations has already born fruit, yielding a bounty of benefits for its members. In total, 23 APAT seats will be up for grabs through events at Betfair Poker. This comes in addition to the 33 GUKPT spots already announced. Betfair has also put up the cash for two ₤20,000 sponsorship packages for 2011. One will be given to the tour’s top pro at the close of the season, while the other will be bestowed on 2010’s top armature. For a full schedule of events, see the list at the end of this article.

On top of their new partnership, Betfair is offering a bevy of exciting new events. Foremost among these is their innovative 1-X-2 Footie Special, which bring together two of the most universal games on the planet: football and poker. On selected days, Betfair will pick a particular televised football match, and create a tournament named after each of the opposing teams. All players need to do is join the tournament named after the side who, in their mind, should win the football match. Then, when the game is complete, Betfair will add $1,000 to the prize pool of the appropriately named tournament.

Speaking of football, Betfair is also offering players a chance to win a weekend for two at April 4’s Barcelona vs. Athletico Bilbao showdown. The winning contestant will receive two VIP tickets to the game, along with a tour of the stadium and two nights at a Barcelona hotel. Travel costs are also included.

In order to compete for this fabulous prize, players need to log into the Betfair Poker Room before 7:45 PM GMT on March 11 and purchase their $10 ticket for the “Barcelona Experience” in the tournament lobby. The games begin at 8 PM GMT. As an added bonus, new players who register their account between February 22 and March 11 will receive a refund of their $10 tournament ticket.

Befair Live! is busy drumming up excitement for their upcoming live event in Tanlinn, which will take between April 8 and 11. According to a recent press release, “Players can qualify for their Tallinn package now via our “Betfair Poker LIVE! Tallinn 2010” Satellites! There are 10 x Tallinn LIVE! packages GTD in all, worth $1,500 each (inc. accommodation and flights).” Visit Betfair’s website for more details.

For full details of the APAT’S FOURTH SEASON, see the schedule below.

AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP

2 day events – £75 buy in – unless stated

20/3 – Welsh Amateur Championship – Aspers, Swansea
17/4 – United Kingdom Amateur Championship – Grosvenor Victoria, London
15/5 – Central European Amateur Championship – Austria
19/6 – Scottish Amateur Championship – G, Aberdeen
31/7 – Northern European Amateur Championship – Estonia
27/8 – World Amateur Heads Up Championship – DTD, Nottingham – 1 day – £50
27/8 – World Amateur Team Championship – DTD, Nottingham – £100
28/8 – World Amateur Stud Championship – DTD, Nottingham – 1 day – £50
29/8 – World Amateur Omaha Championship – DTD, Nottingham – 1 day – £50
30/8 – World Amateur Six Max Championship – DTD, Nottingham – 1 day – £50
29/8 – World Amateur Poker Championship – DTD, Nottingham – 3 day – £100
31/8 – World Amateur HORSE Championship – DTD, Nottingham – 1 day – £50
25/9 – Irish Amateur Championship – Dublin
23/10 – English Amateur Championship – G, Luton
27/11 – European Amateur Championship – G, Coventry
8/1 – Southern European Amateur Championship – Spain
29/1 – United Kingdom Team Championship – G, Bolton

PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE

1 day event – Pot Limit Hold’em – £250 buy in – 10,000 chips – 40 minute clock

20/3 – Professional League Swansea – Grosvenor, Swansea
17/4 – Professional League London – Grosvenor Victoria, London
19/6 – Professional League Glasgow – G, Aberdeen
28/8 – Professional League Nottingham – DTD, Nottingham
25/9 – Professional League Dublin – Dublin
23/10 – Professional League Luton – G, Luton
27/11 – Professional League Coventry – G, Coventry

SPECIALIST SERIES

1 day event – £25 buy in – mixed structures to be advised a month prior to events.

21/3 – Specialist Series – Grosvenor, Swansea
18/4 – Specialist Series – Grosvenor Victoria, London
20/6 – Specialist Series – G, Aberdeen
26/9 – Specialist Series – Dublin
24/10 – Specialist Series – G, Luton
28/11 – Specialist Series – G, Coventry