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Poker News | Casino Poker | News

Casino Poker Report: April Wraps WPT Season 8 and EPT Season 6

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After several months of more poker tournaments than most players can handle, the busy season will finally settle down in April, as several tours wrap their seasons and everyone begins to gear up for the World Series of Poker.

That’s not to dismiss April. Two of the biggest tournaments of the year that draw players from all walks of the poker life will take place this month, as the WPT World Championship hits Bellagio in Las Vegas and the EPT Grand Finale winds up its season in Monte Carlo. Players have been saving their pennies, lining up their backers, and working up those bankrolls in order to afford the tens of thousands of dollars those two events require, but they are not to be missed by those at the top of their game - or even those who think they are.

Add a few other events to the schedule, and April provides players with a very full month of live tournament action.

World Poker Tour World Championship (April 18 - 24):

The eighth annual Five Star World Poker Classic is the official name of the series that begins at the Bellagio in Las Vegas on March 30, and the prices are steep. But no matter the financial woes of the general public, poker players usually find the means to play some of the tournaments in this series. The series is different than most, in that all of the preliminary events require a $1,000 buy-in, and all of them, whether no-limit hold’em or the two PLO events thrown in for good measure, are rebuy tournaments.

But it all culminates in the Main Event when the WPT comes to town for the massive $25,000 buy-in tournament. The original start date was April 17, but it has been moved to April 18 and will only present one starting day for players, perhaps under the realization that the group of players who will be able to afford such an event will be limited. But the crowd will be an elite one and boast of some of the greatest players in the world, wrapping up with its final table of six players on April 24. It will be followed by poker enthusiasts around the world as they look to see who will rise to the top of the WPT Season 8 finale.

WSOP Circuit Harrah’s St. Louis (April 2 - 15) & Caesars Palace Las Vegas (April 14 - 30)

As the World Series of Poker summer series approaches, the WSOP Circuit events begin to wind down. Though the finale isn’t until May, the two events leading up to it are in April and take players from St. Louis to Las Vegas for opportunities to play for a fraction of the buy-ins at the summer WSOP and offer more tournaments for players to choose from.

The St. Louis stop is provided by Harrah’s Casino in Maryland Heights, Missouri, just east of St. Louis County. Events kick off on April 2nd with a $340 no-limit hold’em tournament and run at least one more per day through the start of the Championship event starting on April 13th. The final tournament will run for three days and requires a buy-in of $5,180 for the opportunity to grab a WSOP-C gold ring.

Before the St. Louis Main Event even finds its winner, the action will kick off at the next stop at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. The first tournament, scheduled for April 14th, is a $230 NLHE event, and the schedule is quite full, even offering a $160 second-chance tournament each night at 7pm. And it all culminates in a $5,150 Championship tournament that starts on April 27th and runs for four days.

PokerStars European Poker Tour San Remo (April 15 - 21) & Monte Carlo (April 25 - 30):

Another amazing season of European Poker Tour events will wrap during the month of April, as the two final tournaments of Season 6 will undoubtedly bring big numbers to two of the most popular stops of any EPT season. Each stop not only boasts of side events - sometimes including a ladies-only tournament or high-roller event - but the Main Event at each location provides outstanding commentary from the EPT Live broadcasting team so poker fans the world over can follow along with the action.

Next up on the schedule is San Remo, Italy, a small town on the coast of the northwest tip of the European country. With the immensely growing popularity of poker in Italy, players come out in droves for the event on their own soil, though all of Europe flocks to the ocean side city. The Main Event is scheduled from April 15 to 21, and the buy-in is €5,000.

Only days after that event concludes, players take the short jaunt over to Monaco and settle in at Monte Carlo for the biggest annual poker event in Europe. The EPT Grand Finale at Monte Carlo brings players from all over the world, despite its highest buy-in (€10,000) of the season. But the prestige of the event combined with the elegance of its location overrides most other concerns, though the entire stay in Monte Carlo can be quite pricey. Nevertheless, the crowds will descend and provide an undoubtedly exciting event and a new EPT Season 6 champion at its conclusion on April 30.

PokerStars North American Poker Tour Mohegan Sun (April 7 - 13):

One of the hottest additions to the live poker tournament circuit in 2010 was the North American Poker Tour (NAPT), which officially started with the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in January and continued on to the Venetian in Las Vegas in February. The stop at Mohegan Sun in April is the only other stop announced thus far, though more are promised in the coming weeks as the casinos and tournaments are solidified. The NAPT is already becoming popular because of its promise to be aired on ESPN and its reasonably priced buy-ins, similar to those of the EPT and other PokerStars regional tours.

The Mohegan Sun stop will revolve around an entire series of events already scheduled at the casino, which start on March 27 with a $550 deep stack NLHE tournament. Each day offers more events for players $270 to $1,000, but the Main Event is a $5,000 buy-in event that starts on April 7th. The tournament will wrap with its final table on April 11th, but another event was added on April 12th. The ESPN crews will stick around to film parts of the high-stakes shootout tournament, a $25,000 buy-in event with bounties on the players and a televised final table on April 13th.

PokerStars Australia New Zealand Poker Tour Sydney (April 21 - 25):

The second season of the ANZPT has been seeing some exciting events and record turnouts thus far, and the third stop on the tour brings them to beautiful Sydney, Australia. The Star City Casino will host the series of events that will culminate in the AUD$2,200 Main Event set to run from April 21 to 25.

Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza II (April 1 - 26):

The first Deep Stack Extravaganza of the year centered around the NAPT stop there in February, and turnouts for all of the events were solid. Thus, a second round of the very popular series at the Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada will kick off on April 1 and give players an entire schedule of NLHE tournaments with buy-ins of $300 to $1,000. It all leads up to the Main Event that starts on April 24 and requires a buy-in of $2,375 for the three-day tournament.

Borgata Spring Poker Open (April 10 - 30):

What used to be part of the World Poker Tour schedule has veered off on its own with more reasonable buy-ins, even for the Main Event. The Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey is the home of the popular East Coast series and kicks off on April 10 with a $500 buy-in no-limit hold’em deep stack tournament with a $250K guarantee. Preliminary events run throughout the month of April, with the Main Event starting on April 25 and boasting of a $3,300 buy-in and $1 million guarantee.

PokerStars Italian Poker Tour San Remo (April 15 - 21):

Back to the PokerStars list of tours, the Italian Poker Tour has been popular during its first season that began in June of 2009. It will finish out its first season at the most popular of the stops, the San Remo Casino, for the IPT Grand Final. The tournament has a higher buy-in than the rest of the events on the schedule, but the €5,000 price tag signifies the importance of the Grand Final and looks to attract a solid crowd to wrap Season 1.

PokerStars UK & Ireland Poker Tour (April 8 - 11):

Also in its first season is the UKIPT to cover the United Kingdom and Ireland with tournaments throughout the year. Season 1 kicked off in December of 2009 and is set to run through October of 2010. The third stop of the tour hits Coventry from April 8 through 11 at the G Casino, and the Main Event offers a very reasonable £500 buy-in NLHE event.

Full Tilt Poker Series Espana (April 23 - 25):

The series of no-limit hold’em freezeout tournaments sponsored by Full Tilt Poker takes players to various locations in Spain, and the first stop of the current season is in Gerona. The Casino Castell de Peralada will host the three-day poker tournament with a €150,000 guaranteed prize pool. The buy-in for the event is a reasonable €1,500, and a popular tournament structure looks to give competitors a great deal of play for their money.

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