Amaya’s Global Poker Tours Ltd (GPTL) has announced the first ever legal live poker event to be held in Norway, with the Norwegian Championships set to begin next month across six cities.

GPTL, which operates the European Poker Tour, Latin American Poker Tour and Asia Pacific Poker Tour, will host five regional championships around the country before heading to the country’s capital, Oslo, for the Championship Main Event.

It follows changes to Norway’s gambling legislation last year to allow land-based poker tournaments to be held in the country.

The Norwegian Championships has held a number of unofficial events at various overseas locations for the past 13 years, including Dublin (Ireland), Nottingham (UK), and Riga (Latvia).

Amaya said that these events were always well-attended so expectations are high for the first event in Norway on October 10th.

Already, more than 100 players have registered for the event on the first day of pre-registrations, showing strong local interest and appetite, the company said.

Amaya expects the final number is expected to exceed 2,000, which will be a new record for a closed National Championship, surpassing the last iteration of the Norwegian Championships in Dublin, which had 1,274 players.

The buy-in for each of the five Regional Championships is NOK1,500 (USD$180), with these events acting as satellites to the Championship Main Event in Oslo. No cash prizes will be awarded.

“It’s been a long time coming, and I’m incredibly excited to finally play a major poker tournament on home soil,” said Norwegian professional poker player Johnny Lodden, a member of Team PokerStars Pro. “No matter what sport you play, there’s always something extra special about competing at home, and this is no exception.”

Norwegian charity Blodkreftforeningen, which specialize in leukaemia and bone marrow cancer research, will be the official charity partner of the Norwegian Championships, with 5 per cent of all buy-ins from the Regional and Norwegian Championships donated to the cause.

Norwegian Championships schedule:

Østlands Championships, Oslo - October 10-11
Sørland Championships, Kristiansand - October 17-18
North Championships, Bodø - October 24-25
Central Championships, Trondheim - October 31 - November 1
Western Championships, Bergen - November 7-8
Norwegian Championships, Oslo - November 18-24