PokerStars Poker Championship and Festival the Re-branded EPT

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PokerStars Championship Global Poker Tournaments

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 The PokerStars Global Championship & Festival of Tournaments

EPT Rebirth:

PokerStars Championship is the New EPT after witnessing 13 amazing years of excitement, thrills and many splendid poker hands, the European Poker Tour came to a sudden end.

PokerStars announced its decision to end the EPT last year in August, a few days before the EPT events were about to begin at its second tour stop. The final EPT tournament that marked its official end took place over 7 days at Hilton Prague Hotel and Casino in Prague.

On one hand, this decision shocked poker fans all over the world and some even criticized the abrupt ending of a reputed poker event, on the other hand, many fans and poker players appreciated the idea and said they would gladly welcome the change to the PokerStars Championship and Festival as long as the essence of the tour and the game format and the prize pool did not undergo any major changes.

PokerStars decided to revamp all the three major tours it sponsored- the EPT (the biggest of the three), the APPT (Asia Pacific Poker Tour) and the LAPT (Latin America Poker Tour), and bring it under the same umbrella of the PokerStars Global Championship and Poker Festivals.

 Neil Johnson, the head of Live Poker at PokerStars announced this change and added that the 2017 tour would be now named as the PokerStars Global Championship that would replace the original EPT, and they would organize events at all the major tour stops at some of the biggest poker venues of the world.

PokerStars Global Championship would be targeted at poker professionals and high stakes players who participate in major poker tournaments like WSOP or WPT.

On the other hand, the Poker Festival is announced to compete with the regional level tours that are mainly targeted at poker beginners looking to participate in a big event or recreational poker players looking to get their feet wet and have some fun.

Poker Festivals from PokerStars would compete with the WSOP circuit and the WPT regional.

 

Pokerstars Championship Global Festival Re-branding Decision

The EPT started off as an alternative for the WSOP and the WPT that didn’t have many poker stops in Europe but within years it expanded drastically. The rationale behind the sudden and shocking decision to end the EPT and revamp it as PokerStars Global Championship was to cater to this expanding reach of the EPT.

The EPT was no longer limited to the borders of Europe and PokerStars, understanding this, decided to bring the, comparatively less famous, APPT and the LAPT under the wings of the EPT.

Furthermore, a global level poker tournament needs a global level name and the name European Poker Tour was not an appropriate name for a global level tour and hence it was renamed as the PokerStars Global Championship.

Moreover, other major poker events, the WSOP and the WPT feature two different kinds of tournaments, one major event for the professional poker players and one minor event having regional level shorter duration events for recreational players.

PokerStars wanted to adopt this format for the global level tournament to match the format of the WSOP and the WPT. The Global Championship and the Poker Festivals perfectly fit this description.

The PokerStars Global Championship has the level and format of the WSOP and the WPT, while PokerStars Poker Festival is there to compete with their smaller level counterparts- the WSOP Circuit and the WPT regional aimed at amateur players featuring lower buy in tournaments held for shorter duration in regional casinos.

 

PokerStars Global Championship Features

The first PokerStars Championship event took place in Bahamas from Jan 6, 2017 to Jan 14, 2017. According to the press release by PokerStars the Global Championship will –

  • Cover the major cities and the most prestigious casinos all over the world
  • Host events that would last for approx ten days and include over 100 tournaments including the $5,000 buy in Main Event
  • Provide world class poker experience to poker players of different levels
  • Include a wide variety of Cash Games
  • Host a renovated Player of The Year competition
  • Include a tournament leader board at all the tour stops.
  • Provide the top player on the leaderboard for each stop with a VIP package and the Main Event buy in for the next championship
  • Host an invite only tournament, $10,000 buy in “winner takes it all” competition for the top players on each leader board.

PokerStars Global Championship Poker Festivals

The first Poker Festival kicked off on 29th October 2016 at New Jersey’s Atlantic City Casino. It was nine day event featuring various tournaments and cash games.

The main distinction between PokerStars Global Championship and Poker Festivals are:

  • Poker Festivals are a lower buy in and more affordable version of Global Championship Games.
  • Poker Festivals are  6-7 day events for regional and recreational poker players.
  • The Festival tournaments have lower buy in ranging from $150 to $2,000 (for the Main Event).
  • The Festival includes many Cash Games with buy ins as low as $5.
  • A special called “StarsFun” is also organised by PokerStars at the Festival including three special tournament with a twist.
  • The tournaments in StarsFun will include a Roulette Tournament, a Blackjack Tournament and a Craps Tournament, all with $110 buy ins

 

PokerStars Global Championship Schedule

The Global Championship kicked off in Bahamas on Jan 6, 2017. The other major Championship location for 2017 are Panama, in March; Macau and Monte Carlo, in April and Barcelona in August. The detailed schedule for the PokerStars Global Championship is given below –

Global Championship Bahamas Schedule

The first ever PokerStars Global Championship event started at Atlantis Resort in Bahamas on Jan 6, 2017. It was a magnificent 9 days event spread over Jan 6 – Jan 14, 2017. There were a total of 90 events packed into the Bahamas Schedule.

Important Events, Dates and Buy In for Bahamas Stop

Event Date Buy In
PokerStars Open Jan 10 – 12, 2017 $220
PokerStars Cup Jan 12 – 14, 2017 $440
PokerStars National Championship Jan 7 – 9, 2017 $2,200
PokerStars Championship Main Event Jan 8 – 14, 2017 $5,000
PokerStars Championship High Roller Jan 12 – 14, 2017 $27,750
PokerStars Championship Super High Roller Jan 6 – 8, 2017 $100,000

 

Global Championship Panama Schedule

The second PokerStars Championship event took place in the Sortis Hotel and Casino in Panama city. The Panama city casino will host 56 events from 10 to 20 March 2017. Panama was a popular tour stop for the Latin America Poker Tour.

Important Events, Dates and Buy Ins for Panama Stop

Event Date Buy In
PokerStars Open March 12 – 14, 2017 $220
PokerStars Cup March 15 – 19, 2017 $440
PokerStars National Championship March 11 – 14, 2017 $1,100
PokerStars Championship Main Event March 14 – 20, 2017 $5,300
PokerStars Championship High Roller March 18 – 20, 2017 $10,300
PokerStars Championship Super High Roller March 14 – 17, 2017 $50,000

Other than these important events, there were many other events for each day along with 24 hour cash games with buy in from $40 to $20,000.

Poker Stars Championship Global Macau Schedule

Macau was a famous tour stop for the Asia Pacific Poker Tour. PokerStars Championship Macau tournaments took place from March 30 to April 9, 2017 at City of Dreams in Macau.

Important Events, Dates and Buy In for Macau Stop

Event Date Buy In
PokerStars National Championship March 13 – April 3, 2017 HKD 8,800
PokerStars Cup March 31 – 3, 2017 HKD 3,300
PokerStars Championship Super High Roller – Shot Clock April 1 – 3, 2017 HKD 400,000
PokerStars Asia Open April 2 – 3, 2017 HKD 5,500
PokerStars Championship Main Event April 3 – 9, 2017 HKD 42,400
No Limit Hold’em Shot Clock April 4, 2017 HKD 206,000
PokerStars Championship PLO High Roller April 5 – 6, 2017 HKD  82,400
PokerStars Championship High Roller April 7 – 9, 2017 HKD 103,000
PokerStars Open April 7 – 9, 2017 HKD 2,200

Global PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo Schedule

Monte Carlo has always been a very important stop for the EPT and has hosted many Grand Final events of the old EPT tour. This year EPT is returning to Monte Carlo under a new name – PokerStars Global Championship. The Casino Monte Carlo will host a grand 11 days event from April 25 – May 5, 2017 along with a special event called StarsFun for those looking for a break from regular poker.

Important Events, Dates and Buy In for Monte Carlo Stop

Event Date Buy In
PokerStars Open May 3 – 5, 2017 $220
PokerStars Cup April 26 – 29, 2017 $440
PokerStars National Championship April 26 – 30, 2017 $1,100
PokerStars Championship Main Event April 29 – May 5, 2017 $5,300
Opening No Limit Hold’em April 28 – 29, 2017 $10,300
Pot Limit Omaha March 14 – 17, 2017 $10,300
PokerStars Championship High Roller May 3 – 5, 2017 $25,750
Single Day No Limit Hold’em April 30 $50,000
PokerStars Championship Super High Roller April 27 – 29, 2017 $100,000

 

Global Championship Sochi Schedule

The Global Championship Sochi will take place at Sochi Casino and Resort in the Russian Federation from May 20 to May 31, 2017. This will be a grand 12 days event including many poker tournaments, StarsFun side event and 24 hour non-stop cash games

Important Events, Dates and Buy In for Sochi Stop

Event Date Buy In
No Limit Hold’em May 20 – 22, 2017 $10,300
PokerStars National Championship May 20 – 25, 2017 $1,100
PokerStars Cup May 20 – 25, 2017 $440
PokerStars Championship Super High Roller May 23 – May 25, 2017 $50,000
PokerStars National High Roller May 24 – 25, 2017 $2,200
PokerStars Championship Main Event May 25 – 31, 2017 $5,300
No Limit Hold’em Single Day May 26, 2017 $25,500
PokerStars Championship PLO High Roller May 27 – 28, 2017 $10,300
PokerStars Open May 29 – 31, 2017 $220

Global Championship Barcelona Schedule

The Global Championship Barcelona is going to be a 13 days event starting from August 15, 2017 and continuing till August 27. The event will be hosted at Casino Barcelona in Spain, whose history is filled with grand and splendid events like this.

Important Events, Dates and Buy In for Barcelona Stop

Event Date Buy In
No Limit Hold’em August 16 – 18, 2017 $10,850
PokerStars National Championship August 16 – 21, 2017 $1,160
PokerStars Cup August 19 – 21, 2017 $350
PokerStars Championship Super High Roller August 20 – 22, 2017 $52,700
PokerStars National High Roller August 21 – 27, 2017 $2,320
PokerStars Championship Main Event August 22, 2017 $5,590
No Limit Hold’em Single Day August 23 – 24, 2017 $26,880
PokerStars Championship Pot Limit Omaha  High Roller August 25 – 27, 2017 $10,860
PokerStars Open August 25 – 27, 2017 $230

 

PokerStars Championship Poker Festivals

PokerStars Poker Festival made its debut in New Jersey on the 29th of October 2016. The Festival would continue all year round with different stops added to them. Presently, PokerStars Festival have 11 cities already covered for a stop and the Festival schedule is power packed till October 2017. PokerStars continues to add other Festival stops to its list. Here’s the schedule for the PokerStars Festival and the cities it will cover

City Dates Venue
New Jersey Oct. 29 – Nov 6, 2016 Resorts Casino Hotel
London Jan 22 – 29, 2017 The Hippodrone Casino
Rozvadov March 2 – 13, 2017 King’s Casino
Chile May 20 – 27, 2017 Casino Enjoy, Vina Del Mar
Marbella June 19 – 25, 2017 Casino Marbella
Korea July 14 – 24, 2017 Paradise City
Lille July 15 – 23, 2017 Casino Barriere Lille
Manila July 28 – Aug. 7, 2017 PokerStars Live at City of Dreams
Bucharest July 31 – Aug. 6, 2017 JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel
Uruguay Sept. 16 – 23, 2017 Conrad Punta Del Este Resort & Casino
Dublin Sept. 25 – Oct  1, 2017 Regency Hotel and Casino

PokerStars has tried its best to replace the EPT without diminishing its glory or reputation, if anything PokerStars has made poker global in the actual sense including destinations from all over the world to its list.

It does appear that this new and improved successor of the EPT is going to become a great name in the poker world, however, only time will tell if PokerStars Global Championship could ever replace the European Poker Tour. We are sure it will be a hit.

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