The PokerStars Global Championship & Festival of Tournaments
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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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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