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Residents of the second largest country in the world have reason to feel cheerful today, after the announcement of the 2009 Canadian Open Poker Championships. The event will be held from May 13th to 17th at the Stampede Casino in Calgary, Alberta.

The COPC has established itself as a favorite for pros from around the world, with it’s heads-up main event proving particularly popular. The $5,000 buy in tournament features best of three matches, with the winner moving on to face the next player in his bracket. The event has been garnered praise for its structure, with former WSOP main event champion Joe Hachem saying he wishes that “the NBC Invitational or World Series of Poker formats were half this good.”

The series should attract some stellar poker talent from around North America and further afield – not least because it is televised. One well-known name who has already confirmed his appearance is “The Unabomber” Phil Laak. “The Canadian Open rocks!” he unequivocally stated, “I can’t wait to come back.”. The brackets will be drawn at an ‘Ultimate Player’s Party’ on May 13th, the full details of which have yet to be announced. With over 100 players excepted to compete it looks like being one of the highlights of this years high stakes calendar

Those with slightly smaller bankrolls will more than likely be looking to compete in one of the four other events that comprise the Championships. Although, those with their hearts set on the main event can take a chance in the $550 satellites that will be running during the early days of the festival.

Event #1 will be a $550 No Limit Hold ‘em tournament, which should provide a nice warm-up for Event #2 – the $5k heads-up competition. Event #3 provides the only deviation from Texas Hold ‘em, with a $200 Pot Limit Omaha tournament. A slightly higher buy-in, $1100 No Limit Hold ‘em event fills the Event #4 slot, and the tournament ends as it begun with Event #5, a $550 No Limit Hold ‘em freezeout.