The European Poker Tour is preparing to host its last stop in Prague, Czech Republic. After 13 seasons as one of the most popular live poker tours in the world, the EPT will end its run when the upcoming Prague series wraps up on December 19.
To kick off the tour finale, the Hilton Prague is ready to host 100 tournaments and the largest EPT in its history. Hundreds of players have won satellites into the Eureka Prague Main Event and the EPT Main Event, and offerings at the event will feature everything from chess to poker, a charity event, and a massive player party.
Live Tournaments to Continue in New Formats
When PokerStars announced in August that changes were coming to the live tournament scene, it was a shock to many who counted on the numerous regional tours and player-favorites like the European Poker Tour. Many of the most popular stops on the PokerStars-sponsored tours around the world were going to continue, but in the form of championships and festivals on one schedule. While most players were simply anxious to see what the next year brings, staunch EPT fans were disappointed.
What was the start to ever year for the live poker tournament player in the Bahamas will continue, though it will not be in the form of an EPT or LAPT; it will be the PokerStars Championship Bahamas. Other stops from the EPT’s past also appear on the 2017 schedule in the form of the PokerStars Festival London in January, PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino in April and May, and PokerStars Championship Barcelona in August.
Saying Goodbye to the EPT in Prague
No matter what the new tour brings, the EPT will be sorely missed. Into its 13th season, the EPT had become a staple for European players as well as many others from around the world who traveled annually to cities like Deuville, San Remo, and Berlin. And Prague was one of the favorites as well, as it was a beautiful city in which to play poker as well as spend some time during the biggest holiday month of the winter season.
The upcoming EPT Prague will be a goodbye of sorts, though it would surprise many if there wasn’t a return to the city for poker at some point. And the best way to ring out the EPT is to schedule 100 tournaments over the course of 12 days at the Hilton Prague. It will be the biggest EPT festival in all of its years in business.
Preparing a big (and tough!) "pub quiz" to be held during EPT Prague about 13 seasons of European Poker Tour. A trip down memory lane.— Frank Op de Woerd (@webjoker) December 2, 2016
As the Prague festival includes the last of the Eureka Poker Tour as well, it is only fitting that there are events highlighting both tours. The list of the most anticipated tournaments in the next few weeks includes:
- December 8-10: €10K NLHE Single Reentry 8-Handed
- December 9-13: €1K Eureka NLHE Main Event
- December 8-12: €300 PokerStars Cup
- December 11-13: €50K NLHE Super High Roller Unlimited Reentries 8-Handed
- December 12-13: €2K Eureka NLHE High Roller
- December 13-19 €5K EPT NLHE Main Event
- December 14: €25K NLHE Single Day Single Reentry 8-Handed
- December 17-19: €10K EPT NLHE High Roller
- December 17-19 €200 PokerStars Open
Big numbers are expected for the registration of the Main Events, as nearly 350 players won online satellites for the Eureka and more than 160 won for the EPT Main. And those numbers will likely rise.
There are numerous other exciting events in the lineup, such as a €500 High-Hand Instant-Win Turbo tournament, €100 Deuces Wild “Quack Quack Half a Rack,” and everything from Hold’em to Omaha and Quintuple Draw to Stud. And the charity event will be on December 13 with a €150 buy-in and rebuys allowed, all benefiting Right to Play. It is the charity partner of PokerStars that uses education through sports and games to help children overcome the effects of poverty, disease, and war in various parts of the world. And players will be able to win such prizes as travel, tournament dollars, Apple products, and cash, of course.
There will be many activities for players away from the tables as well, but the big celebration will be the EPT Prague party on December 12 at the Cloud 9 sky bar at the Hilton Prague. Players and their guests are welcome to attend.
One for the Record Books
When the EPT launched in 2004 in Barcelona, there was one tournament that drew 229 players. A Swedish player won the top €80K prize. The season boasted of seven stops and then a grand finale in Monte Carlo, the latter of which drew 211 players and awarded €635K to Rob Hollink for the victory. In all, that season drew 1,468 players to the eight Main Event tournaments and awarded nearly €5 million.
Every year, the EPT grew in participation, scope, and style. Tour stops grew into festivals, and high roller events turned into Super High Roller can’t-miss events.
By the time the EPT was into its 12th season and traveled to Prague in December of 2015, the festival boasted of nearly 16,000 tournament entries and more than €24.5 million in cash awarded to its players. This 2016 finale could very well top those numbers and send the EPT into the history and record books at the same time.