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Poker News | World Poker News

European Poker Tour (EPT)

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What is the European Poker Tour

The EPT is a poker tour series sponsored by PokerStars.com with the goal of capitalizing on the poker boom in Europe. PokerStars experienced a huge surge in popularity after their unknown player Chris Moneymaker parlayed a $39 satellite win into a gold bracelet and a $2.5 million payday at the 2003 WSOP. Cashing in on their new found fame, PokerStars set up the EPT in order to offer European poker players a major tournament venue, without them having to travel to the USA to participate.

The travelling EPT launched season one in 2004, with more affordable buy-ins than the commonly seen $5,000 or $10,000 buy-ins of many major tournaments in the USA. Lower buy-ins, plus the fact that the legal gambling age is 18 in most European countries, proved to be a key factor in drawing seasoned players and younger players just starting their poker careers.

Although PokerStars set the EPT in motion, the poker tour was created by John Duthie, who currently holds the title of Chief Executive of the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour. Drawing from his wide span of knowledge garnered from his years as television director in the UK, he teamed up with PokerStars to fine tune the ETP poker tournament circuit events. By coordinating with the Sunset & Vine production company to tape and air the tournaments on television throughout Europe, Duthie was instrumental in making the EPT what it is today.

The EPT’s inaugural season was a huge success, and even though only seven tournaments were on the schedule, a total of 1,468 players entered the events, all vying for a cumulative prize pool of nearly €5 million. The grand finale of the first season was held in the world renowned retreat of the rich and famous, Monte Carlo, where it was a huge success and got rave reviews.

Since that fist impressive year, the EPT events have swelled with each season. Currently hosting Season 6 events, the fifth season recorded astounding growth with nine tournaments. The EPT Season Five generated a total prize pool of almost €55 million (approx $77 million USD) with 7,980 players from 97 countries of which 3,077 were PokerStars players. The fifth season of the EPT also boasted the four richest prize pools offered at any poker tournaments outside the United States, with the EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final generating the biggest ever prize pool in Europe at more than €9.3 million. The Grand Final winner, newly-signed Team PokerStars Pro Netherlands member Pieter de Korver , bested a record breaking field of 935 players to take the home the first prize of €2.3 million ($3.2 million USD).

With media given a red carpet to cover the events, the EPT has grown into an international sensation in only six seasons. As the tour continues to expand, it discovers a wealth of new European poker talent with every stop. Season 6 will include stops in: Barcelona, Spain; London, England; Warsaw, Poland; Prague, Czech Republic; Deauville, France; Copenhagen, Denmark; Dortmund, Germany; San Remo, Italy and the grand finale once again at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

The tour continues to grow and discover new European poker talent everywhere it goes, so it is no surprise the European Poker Tour is now the world’s richest poker tour in terms of both players and prize pools. Sponsored by PokerStars, the self proclaimed largest online poker site in the world with over 23 million registered players worldwide, the continued success of the EPT appears to be guaranteed.

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