The world’s richest poker tour is back to break more records with six stops announced leading up to the Grand Final in Monte Carlo. We’ve got everything you need to keep you on top of the action
The European Poker Tour was born in 2004 when 229 players paid out the modest sum of €1,000 to play in the very first leg of the first season in Barcelona. Swede Alexander Stevic lifted the inagural trophy and returned to finish third in the Grand Final in Monte Carlo the following March. Rob Hollink was the end-of-season winner taking down €635,000 for winning the €10k buy-in. It was a big success but it was going to get much, much bigger.
Almost ten years to the date of the first event, the EPT celebrated its 100th event back in Barcelona and smashed records as the world’s richest poker tour. The Main Event attracted 1,496 players from 71 countries, making it the biggest EPT on European soil.
Over the course of the seven legs in Season 11, total prize money exceeded €100m for the first time in EPT history. It attracted an incredible 60,731 entries from 12,600 players and 80 different countries.
Season 11’s Grand Final boasted 78 events over 12 days, with 55 trophies up for grabs. Adrian Mateos came out on top of a stacked final table, featuring Ole Schemion and Johnny Lodden, winning €1,082,000 and, incredibly, going down in history as Spain’s first ever EPT champion.
Now it’s time for Season 12. Action kicks off in Barcelona and there are currently six stops announced, including a return to Dublin for the first time in seven years.
1 EPT Barcelona, August 18-30
Aug 19-24: €1,100 Estrellas main event
Aug 24-30: €5,300 EPT main event
Barcelona is the only event to appear in every season of the EPT. It’s hugely popular and the hook-up with the Estrellas Poker Tour means it offers something for every player, regardless of bankroll. Last year the €1,100 Estrellas Main Event attracted 2,560 runners, making it the biggest PokerStars freezeout of all time. 1,496 players played the EPT Main Event, the largest on European soil. This season there are 71 tourneys with buy-ins from €120 up to €50,000.
2 EPT Malta, October 21-31
Oct 21-25: €1,100 IPT main event
Oct 25-31: €5,300 EPT main event
The EPT visited Malta for the first time last season and it was such a success they instantly re-confirmed it for Season 12. 895 players turned their back on the sun and paid €5,300 for a shot at the trophy. After winning the 2014 PCA, Dominik Panka was vying to become the first man to win two EPT titles but he crashed out in third, leaving France’s Jean Montury and Valentin Messina heads-up. Montury triumphed after a deal was struck and took home €687,400.
3 EPT Prague, December 6-16
Dec 6-10: €1,100 Eureka main event
Dec 10-16: €5,300 EPT main event
1,738 players anted up the €1,100 buy-in for the Eureka Poker Tour Main Event last year, with Hungary’s Balazs Botond spinning his entry fee up to €206,948. In the EPT Main Event Stephen Graner came out on top of the 1,107-strong field, taking €969,000 back across the Atlantic. If you fancy a mid-budget tourney later this year the Eureka is a fantastic event, and Prague is a great place to visit near Christmas. Satellites are running on PokerStars now.
4 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, January 6-14
Jan 6-14: $10,300 EPT main event
The anomaly on the European Poker Tour is the annual holiday to the Caribbean for the PCA. First run in 2004 with the World Poker Tour, the PCA is a wildly popular tournament and has been a part of the EPT since 2008 (Season 4). Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier won that year and the $2m first prize is still his biggest cash. Last year Kevin Schulz topped the 816-strong field, winning $1,491,580 – by far his biggest ever cash. Previous to this Schulz had only recorded one six-figure cash at the 2012 WSOP.
5 EPT Dublin, February 10-20
UKIPT Dublin main event (TBC)
EPT Dublin main event (TBC)
Dublin has a rich poker history. The Irish Open is the oldest tournament in Europe but there are rumours that it’s not going to run in 2016. The European Poker Tour has stepped in to ensure that the city gets at least one world-class event next year as it returns to the Emerald Isle for the first time since 2007. Reuben Peters beat out Annette Obrestad to the title then, a year after she stormed onto the world stage by winning the WSOPE Main Event in London.
6 EPT Grand Final, Monte Carlo, April 26 – May 6
€10,600 EPT Grand Final main event (TBC)
It’s fitting that the world’s richest poker tour reaches a climax in Monte Carlo, one of the most expensive places to live. Every year you’ll find players tweeting about how much they’ve paid for a salad, although you wouldn’t have found Spain’s Adrian Mateos complaining. He won the Grand Final last year and became Spain’s first ever EPT champ. He won €1,082,000, his second biggest cash after he took down the 2013 WSOPE Main Event, and good for a house salad and a glass of chilled beer.
Get yourself connected
The EPT isn’t just the richest poker tour in the world, it’s also the most digital friendly. Keep yourself at the cutting edge of Season 12 with these three official apps, all available for free on iOS and Android devices
1 EPT Guide
If you’ve got any questions about the EPT that haven’t been answered here, this is your next port of call. Use the carousel to select the leg you want and click in the top left corner to get the latest news on the full tourney schedule and the range of cash games running. You’ll also get the latest news and tweets, along with a gallery of images once the event has played out.
Get it on Android
Get it on iOS
2 PokerStars TV
This gives you access to the PokerStars video archive. You can stream full TV shows like The Big Game or the European Poker Tour straight on to your device, watch strategy from the pros and get analysis on all the biggest online tournaments. You can download and watch them offline too.
It comes into its own during the EPT though, when the EPT Live stream kicks in. Hosted by Joe Stapleton and James Hartigan, EPT Live brings you action from every single day of each EPT Main Event, with cards-up coverage of the final table.
3 TV Poker Play Along
Think you can play as well as the big name pros on the European Poker Tour? This is your chance to prove it. If you’re in the UK, tune into the EPT TV show and you’ll get the chance to play along with some of the biggest hands. If you’re not in the UK you can watch the shows on PokerStars.TV or on its YouTube channel. Great fun and it could be enough to persuade you to satellite in and play one for real.
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