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

EventDateBuy In
PokerStars OpenJan 10 – 12, 2017$220
PokerStars CupJan 12 – 14, 2017$440
PokerStars National ChampionshipJan 7 – 9, 2017$2,200
PokerStars Championship Main EventJan 8 – 14, 2017$5,000
PokerStars Championship High RollerJan 12 – 14, 2017$27,750
PokerStars Championship Super High RollerJan 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

EventDateBuy In
PokerStars OpenMarch 12 – 14, 2017$220
PokerStars CupMarch 15 – 19, 2017$440
PokerStars National ChampionshipMarch 11 – 14, 2017$1,100
PokerStars Championship Main EventMarch 14 – 20, 2017$5,300
PokerStars Championship High RollerMarch 18 – 20, 2017$10,300
PokerStars Championship Super High RollerMarch 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

EventDateBuy In
PokerStars National ChampionshipMarch 13 – April 3, 2017HKD 8,800
PokerStars CupMarch 31 – 3, 2017HKD 3,300
PokerStars Championship Super High Roller – Shot ClockApril 1 – 3, 2017HKD 400,000
PokerStars Asia OpenApril 2 – 3, 2017HKD 5,500
PokerStars Championship Main EventApril 3 – 9, 2017HKD 42,400
No Limit Hold’em Shot ClockApril 4, 2017HKD 206,000
PokerStars Championship PLO High RollerApril 5 – 6, 2017HKD  82,400
PokerStars Championship High RollerApril 7 – 9, 2017HKD 103,000
PokerStars OpenApril 7 – 9, 2017HKD 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

EventDateBuy In
PokerStars OpenMay 3 – 5, 2017$220
PokerStars CupApril 26 – 29, 2017$440
PokerStars National ChampionshipApril 26 – 30, 2017$1,100
PokerStars Championship Main EventApril 29 – May 5, 2017$5,300
Opening No Limit Hold’emApril 28 – 29, 2017$10,300
Pot Limit OmahaMarch 14 – 17, 2017$10,300
PokerStars Championship High RollerMay 3 – 5, 2017$25,750
Single Day No Limit Hold’emApril 30$50,000
PokerStars Championship Super High RollerApril 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

EventDateBuy In
No Limit Hold’emMay 20 – 22, 2017$10,300
PokerStars National ChampionshipMay 20 – 25, 2017$1,100
PokerStars CupMay 20 – 25, 2017$440
PokerStars Championship Super High RollerMay 23 – May 25, 2017$50,000
PokerStars National High RollerMay 24 – 25, 2017$2,200
PokerStars Championship Main EventMay 25 – 31, 2017$5,300
No Limit Hold’em Single DayMay 26, 2017$25,500
PokerStars Championship PLO High RollerMay 27 – 28, 2017$10,300
PokerStars OpenMay 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

EventDateBuy In
No Limit Hold’emAugust 16 – 18, 2017$10,850
PokerStars National ChampionshipAugust 16 – 21, 2017$1,160
PokerStars CupAugust 19 – 21, 2017$350
PokerStars Championship Super High RollerAugust 20 – 22, 2017$52,700
PokerStars National High RollerAugust 21 – 27, 2017$2,320
PokerStars Championship Main EventAugust 22, 2017$5,590
No Limit Hold’em Single DayAugust 23 – 24, 2017$26,880
PokerStars Championship Pot Limit Omaha  High RollerAugust 25 – 27, 2017$10,860
PokerStars OpenAugust 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

New JerseyOct. 29 – Nov 6, 2016Resorts Casino Hotel
LondonJan 22 – 29, 2017The Hippodrone Casino
RozvadovMarch 2 – 13, 2017King’s Casino
ChileMay 20 – 27, 2017Casino Enjoy, Vina Del Mar
MarbellaJune 19 – 25, 2017Casino Marbella
KoreaJuly 14 – 24, 2017Paradise City
LilleJuly 15 – 23, 2017Casino Barriere Lille
ManilaJuly 28 – Aug. 7, 2017PokerStars Live at City of Dreams
BucharestJuly 31 – Aug. 6, 2017JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel
UruguaySept. 16 – 23, 2017Conrad Punta Del Este Resort & Casino
DublinSept. 25 – Oct  1, 2017Regency 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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