EPT Poker Stars Championship and PokerStars Festival
EPT Live European Poker Tour is now Split up into both the Poker Stars Championship and The PokerStars Festival.
EPT Live European Poker Tour and all about its History, Seasons, Poker Stars, and Live Casino Robbery Information. Yup the Live Poker Tournament that got robbed while in session!
How the Live European Poker Tour Began
EPT European Live Poker Tour is a series of poker tournaments that was started in 2004 by John Duthie.
EPT Poker live tournament series mainly features Texas Hold’em Poker games. Following the poker boom in 2003-2004, fueled by the growing viewership of World Series of Poker (WSOP) and introduction of the World Poker Tour (WPT), the popularity of Texas Hold’em poker skyrocketed. Since both the WSOP and the WPT tournaments require a minimum buy in of $10,000 for the Main Event and were primarily held in American Casinos, this left ample opportunities for lower buy in tournaments and growth and expansion of poker tournaments in the European poker game market.
John Duthie saw this opportunity and created the European Poker Tour. The EPT started at the Casino Barcelona in of course the city of Barcelona. It was a one day event in Casino Barcelona that marked the beginning of the European Poker Tour. Ever since, Casino Barcelona has been a constant stop for all seasons of the Live tournament events; London was the only city other than Barcelona to have hosted all the seasons of the poker tour in Europe. With the buy in of €1,000 (approx US $1,225), the first season of European Poker Tournaments at Barcelona saw 229 entrants with the total prize pool reaching up to €229,000 (US $280,524). Alexander Stevic won the EPT Barcelona Open and was awarded €80,000 (approx $98,000). Since 2011, the live tournament series was completely owned by Pokerstars and aired by Sunset + Vine, until its final season tournament in December 2016.
EPT Live European Poker Tour History
John Duthie saw the opportunity in the European markets for an international level poker tournament and started the EPT live poker events. His job in TV, his connections with Pokerstars, the largest online poker room in the world and his love for poker further helped take the EPT live poker tournaments to the heights and popularity it is enjoying today. Duthie was also the commentator for the first 3 seasons of the poker tour alongside Colin Murray.
The major differences between EPT and WPT were the lower buy in amounts available in the European poker tour, around €3,000 on an average, and the 8 man Final Table of the EPT, compared to the 6 man Final Table of the WPT. The European Poker Tournament also tried to cover most of the major European cities and therefore kept adding new Live Poker Host cities to its schedule every year.
With buy ins starting from as low as €1,000 in the first three seasons and averaging around €3,000 fueled by the extensive advertisement and sponsorship of Pokerstars, the first three seasons were a great success and the tournament kept on growing until its final season in 2016 at Hilton Prague Hotel.
Pokerstars had a great role in taking the tournament to its heights of fame by extensively promoting the EPT through satellite tournaments and TV advertising. By the end of season 3, the EPT was immensely popular, the casino owners and tournament managers were facing a tough time managing space and fitting in all the players. In order to cope up with this increasing popularity, the tour decided to increase its buy in price from €3,000 to €7,000. Even after the increased buy in, the players still kept pouring in from all over the world to participate in various events.
The EPT has visited over 21 cities all over Europe in its 13 seasons. Barcelona, London, Copenhagen, Prague, Berlin and Monte Carlo were some of the most visited cities of the live poker tour. Every season, the Grand finale was held in Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort, Monte Carlo.
The highest amount of prize money ever awarded in an EPT event was €2,300,000 awarded to Pieter De Korver in season 5 and the lowest amount to be awarded in an EPT event is €80,000 given to Alexander Stevic for the first event of the first season of the tour.
People from over 100 countries have participated in various EPT events over the years. Out of them people from over 21 countries have won at least one EPT title. The top five countries that has given the highest number of winners to the EPT are United Kingdom (13 wins), United States (12 wins), Germany (10 wins), France (8 wins) and Sweden (8 wins).
EPT Live Poker Tour Seasons over the Years
Season 1 – The first season of the live poker tour started in September 2004 at Casino Barcelona with a buy in of €1,000. Rob Hollink won the first season Grand Final and was awarded €635,000. The EPT visited 6 cities in its first season before its Finale in Monte Carlo. All the 7 events of Season I were televised.
Season 2 – Season 2 saw an increase in the minimum buy in price from €1,000 to 4,000, owing to the great success of the tour in Europe. Jeff Williams won the Grand Final Event at Monte Carlo and received €900,000 as prize money.
Season 3 – The EPT Season 3 was organized from September 2006 to April 2007 and had an average buy in of €5,000. Gavin Griffin took away €1,825,010 in prize money as the winner of the third Grand Final event. John Duthie and Colin Murray were the commentators for the first three seasons.
Season 4 – The fourth season of EPT was held from August 2007 to April 2008. This season witnessed yet another hike in the buy in price up to €7,000. Three new events were also added to the EPT this season. The new events in new destinations and the increase in buy in price, the prize pool of the European season 4 poker tour doubled to €40 million. Glen Chorny won the Grand Final event and received €2,020,000.
Season 5 – Season 5 of the EPT aired from September 2008 to May 2009. The live tournament series toured 10 cities before reaching Monte Carlo for the Grand Final event yet again. Pieter De Korver Won the fifth season of the tournament and was awarded €2,300,000 in prize money. Season 5 also witnessed 2000 additional players coming from over 97 countries of the world.
Season 6 – The sixth season of the EPT was organized from August 2009 to April 2010 and featured an average buy in price of €7,000. Nicolas Chouity won the Grand Final event of the fifth season and received €1,700,000 in prize money.
Season 7 – The EPT season 7 was organized from August 2010 to May 2011. For the first and only time, EPT Grand Final event took place at Madrid instead of Monte Carlo. Ivan Freitez won the seventh season of the EPT and got €1,500,000 as the prize money. The EPT season 7, while touring in Berlin, also witnessed a robbery of a live poker event in which four masked men got away with €242,000. Fortunately, no one was injured and the men were caught 4 days later.
Season 8 – The EPT season 8 was organized from August 2011 to April 2012 featuring an average buy in of €6,500. Mohsin Charania was the winner of the Grand Final event of the 8th season of the EPT and received €1,350,000 as prize money.
Season 9 – Season 9 of the EPT was organized from August 2012 to May 2013. This season the European Poker Tour had 8 stops across various cities of Europe. Steve O’Dwyer was the winner of the grand Final Event at Monte Carlo and won €1,224,000 in cash prize.
Season 10 – The EPT season 10 was scheduled from August 2013 to May 2014. Antonio Buonanno was the winner of the Grand Final Event in the 10th season and was awarded €1,240,000 in prize money.
Season 11 – The eleventh season of the European Poker Tour was held from August 2014 to may 2015. Adrian Mateos won the 8 man Grand Final Main Event of the tournament season 11 and received €1,082,000 in prize money. This particular season of the EPT poker tour had its first ever Spanish winner named Adrian Mateos.
Season 12 – Season 12 of the EPT was scheduled from August 2015 to May 2016 with a buy in price of €5,300. Jan Bendik took away the winner’s tag for the 12th season of tournament poker in Europe and earned €961,800 in prize money.
Season 13 – Season 13 was the final season of the EPT scheduled from August 2016 to December 2016. Shortly before the second event of season 13, PokerStars announced that this would be the final season of the poker tour and the EPT would be re-branded as the PokerStars Championship from 2017 on. The European Poker Tournament in Prague was the final event destination of the prestigious EPT brand poker tournaments. Jasper Meier Van Puttenis was the last winner of the tour and won a cash prize of €699,300.
Robery of Live Poker Tour at the EPT Berlin
On 6th March 2010, during the EPT Berlin event, during the seventh season of the EPT, a group of masked and armed men entered the Grand Hyatt Hotel where the EPT event was going on live and stole €240,000 from the casino. The panic that followed was also recorded during live broadcasting by Pokerstars for a moment before the live stream was stopped. No player or staff member was reported hurt during the robbery and the tournament continued the very next day. The robbers were later arrested after a few days of investigation and the thieves were sentenced to three years in Jail.
EPT: Now Called The New PokerStars Championship
PokerStars made an announcement in August 2016 that it is going to combine the major poker tours in Europe (EPT), Asia Pacific (Asia Pacific Poker Tour – APPT) and Latin America (Latin America Poker Tour – LAPT) into an all inclusive PokerStars Championship. This decision has shocked poker fans all over the world, esspecially the fans of the European Poker Tour, since the poker tour became a reputed brand that was recognized and respected even beyond Europe.
The decision to combine these events under Pokerstars Championship and Pokerstars Festival is to launch a global level event to bring all these tours under the same umbrella. PokerStars is now well recognized outside of the European borders and this might be a good time to revamp the format of its various tours. The first event of PokerStars Championship held in January 2017, at an ETP event location.
After the initial outcry for the abrupt ending of the EPT was over, poker fans and industry experts said they do not mind the name change or revamping of the EPT as long as the event format, level and prize pool remains the same.
EPT Poker Tour Season XIII
The final event of the final season of the European Poker Tour took place on 19th December 2016 at Hilton Prague Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic. The 13th season of the EPT featured 3 7-days events taking place in August, October and December 2016.
EPT Poker Tour Barcelona (Season 13, Event 1)
The first event of the final season of the European Poker Tour held from 22nd to 28th August 2016 at Casino De Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. It was a 7 day event with the buy in starting from €5,300. 1,785 people participated in the event out of which 359 people shared the prize pool. Sebastian Malec won the event and received €1,122,800 as prize money. The final 8 man table of the event had the following players
Final Table Poker Tour Barcelona
|Adam Owen||United Kingdom||€646,250|
|Thomas De Rooij||Netherlands||€535,100|
|Harcharan Dogra Dogra||Spain||€230,950|
EPT Live Poker Tour Malta (Season 13, Event 2)
The second event of the 13th season took place at Portomaso Casino, St. Julian’s, Malta from 23rd October to 29th October 2016. This 7 day event had 468 buy ins in total and featured a prize pool of €2,269,800. This event had 87 payouts, the players who played the final 8 man table are given below.
Final Table of Live Malta Poker Tournament Season 13
|Peter Ockenden||United Kingdom||€104,340|
|Tomas Macnamara||United Kingdom||€76,790|
EPT European Poker Tournament Prague (Season 13, Final Event)
The European Poker Tour came to an end with a 7 day event at Hilton Prague hotel, Prague Czech Republic from 13th December to 19th December 2016. After 13 glorious seasons and making its name throughout the world, the EPT came to an abrupt end at Prague. The event had a buy in price of €5,300 and more than 1000 people participated in the final event of the poker tournament making the total prize pool of €5,781,200.
More than 200 people finished in cash with Jasper Meijer Van Putten as the winner of the final European Poker Tournament event, winning €1,122,800. The other players who made it to the 8 man final table are the following.
Final Table EPT Prague Live Tournament
|Jasper Meijer Van Putten||Netherlands||€1,122,800|
|David Peters||United States||€630,000|
|Sam Cohen||United States||€203,800|
EPT Live Poker Tournaments End Note
The responsibility on PokerStars to make the PokerStars Championship as great as the EPT was is huge. Though it will not be easy to replace the credibility and respect the EPT had garnered with poker players from all over the world, PokerStars is trying to take the European Poker Tournament on a global scale under a new revamped brand name. Lets see how it goes.
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