The European Poker Tour was a highly popular series of poker tournaments that began in 2004 and ran until December 2016. It was founded by John Duthie, an English TV director and poker player (indeed, Duthie was the winner of the first Poker Millions Tournament). The EPT was modelled on the World Poker Tour and was sponsored by PokerStars. Broadcast throughout Europe by Sunset+Vine Company, it was avidly watched by poker fans in numerous countries. The fan base is surely asking, what will happen to the European Poker Tour next?
Has the European Poker Tour finished?
Perhaps it is better to say that the EPT is changing. There will no longer be an annual series of poker tournaments called The European Poker Tour. However, the tournaments will now continue in all but name. There will now be two new live events, namely the PokerStars Championship Europe and the PokerStars Festival Europe. It is clear that PokerStars has decided to take a more assertive and forward facing role in the tournaments, announcing itself as more than just a background sponsor. Let’s take a closer look at each of these two new poker events.
The PokerStars Championship Europe
The PokerStars Championship will share many of the key features of the EPT. Like the EPT, it will run over schedules of 10-11 days, and it will involve several different types of events. Unlike the Main Event (which, like the EPT’s main Texas Hold’em event, offered a cash prize of €/$5,000), there will also be smaller cash games and plenty of opportunities to play other poker variants. In addition there will be a new prize, for Player of the Year, which will be awarded based on the leaderboard scores for that year.
The PokerStars Festival Europe
The PokerStars Festival takes poker on tour. With this festival, poker lovers can partake of touring tournaments not only in Europe but also in the US. In the US, the Festival has been eagerly awaited because it brings PokerStars to this nation for the first time in several years. Recent touring PokerStars events in Spain and Portugal have been met with high approval levels, with poker lovers gearing up for a fantastic experience. As the Festival tours around the world, the organisers aim to give each event something of the flavour of the region that it is visiting at any given time. This flexibility – adapting each event so that it fits in with the tastes of the city that is being visited – is sure to make the residents of each location feel special.
A new era for European Poker?
The EPT will always have an important place in the hearts of poker lovers. It added a European feel to the successful format of the WPT and also offered unique elements (for instance, the final table at the EPT consisted of 8 players, whilst with the WPT there were only 6). Nevertheless, with these new developments initiated by PokerStars it seems as if the EPT is to continue (albeit not with its original name) in an expanded form. Offering both internationally engaging games with specialised national events with a regional flavour, it looks likely that the PokerStars Championship Europe and the PokerStars Festival Europe are going to provide tension, excitement and the opportunity to win big. It is not too late to get involved with these events. Check whether the Festival tours will be coming to a town near you – or sign up to compete in the Main Event.