We’re gearing up for the major Online Tournament season, so I wanted to quickly go over a few of the bigger forthcoming events to give players a heads up.

With its seventh birthday quickly approaching, Party Poker is offering up a few major promotions:

First of all, the August 10th Party Poker 300K will in fact be the August 10th Party Poker Million with theguaranteed prize pool more than tripling up into the seven figures (the buy-in was also bumped up from $215 to $640.) As usual, the tournament will begin at 1245 pm EST.

Party Poker will also be running daily promotions leading up to its big Sunday tournament: Thursday August 7 will feature 20 surprise tournaments which will only appear in the lobby 15 minutes prior to starting. Amongst these tournaments will be freerolls, high stakes Sit and Gos and qualifiers for the Sunday Millions. Friday, August 8 will run more than 30 low stakes qualifiers for the Sunday Millions tournament (some as low as 15 PartyPoints.) Saturday August 9 will include a unique $7,777 freeroll for players who raked more than 77 PartyPoints throughout the week as well as a promise to give away at least 150 more seats for the Sunday Millions tournament.

And in a promotion unlikely to win over much of a portion of the growing online female poker player contingent, Party Poker’s sister site PartyBingo.comwill be running a “Three Fat Ladies” bingo promotion on August 8th ( August 8th, 2008 or 08 – 08 – 08 where the three 8s are supposed to signify three fat ladies.) The Eighth of August will begin a month long £1 million promotion where a running bingo jackpot will be offered every fifteen minutes valued at £1 million.

Meanwhile, across the digital world, PokerStars.com is preparing for its annual World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) set to begin on September 5th of 2008. The 33 tournament series is, without question, the top online championship offered today with many of the prize pools reaching well beyond $2,000,000. Qualifiers for the tournament have been up and running for months but with only a few weeks left to go until the September 5th start date, promotions are rapidly escalating. With dozens of qualifier tournaments from as low as $2.20 up and running every day, players of all bankrolls looking for World Championship of Online Poker qualifiers should be able to finagle their way in. Check the PokerStars WCOOP page for more details.

Faithful viewers of ESPN’s coverage of the 2008 World Series of Poker will be in for a change this year with Everest Poker taking over as the online sponsor of the world’s richest tournament. While no big promotion has yet to pop up on Everest, with the Disney-owned ESPN just beginning to air the 2008 WSOP the windfall profits expected at Everest.com are only beginning to trickle in. My guess is that sometime around the November 9th WSOP Everest will open up either a big time bonus/freeroll promotion or a seven figure tournament. Especially with other major sites battling with credibility issues, I’m guessing that the door has been swung wide open for Everest Poker to take a big step up in the gaming world. That’s just a guess though.

My other guess is that the ambulance chaser online poker players should not hold their breath for a big UltimateBet promotion. For a while there, I too was thinking that the only way that UB was going to be able to salvage its business after the NioNio scandal was going to be a massive massive promotion. But with the Tiffany Michelle affair compounding its PR crisis, the strategy at Tokwiro seems to be to lay low and hope to ride this one out. Regardless, I would not be expecting anything big at UB or its partner in crime, Absolute Poker.

Meanwhile the Ninth Full Tilt Online Poker Series is underway. With 25 events and a more than $15 million prize pool, the FTOPS is second only to the PokerStars WCOOP in the online tournament poker world. While the tournament began on Wednesday August 6th with the Allen Cunningham sponsored $1 million guaranteed $216 NL Hold’em event, qualifiers are still running for multiple events in FTOPS IX which ends with the August 17th Main Event.

Now is the time to be playing in qualifiers and getting involved in big tournaments. With so many sites offering major promotions and huge tournaments, now is the time to be putting a little bit more of your bankroll towards higher risk but higher reward endeavors. Because now is the time of year that the greatest amount of poker hobbyists are able to turn pro thanks to six figure paydays in tournaments that they entered through satellites.Just a few weeks ago a player made more than $40,000 in a Party Poker tournament that they did not pay a single penny to buy into.

Now is the best time of the year to give yourself a shot at making a lot of money on a small buy-in playing big-time tournament poker.

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