Tournaments Game Guide

European Poker Tour

European Poker Tour History of the EPT

Europe's answer to the World Poker Tour, the European Poker Tour has been steadily increasing in popularity since its launch in 2004.

History of the European Poker Tour

The European Poker Tour (also known as the EPT) was started in 2004 as Europe's answer to the World Poker Tour which was played primarily in the United States. The European Poker Tour is a series of poker tournaments that focuses on no limit Texas Hold'em games. It is held throughout Europe and is televised. The tournament is taped by Sunset + Vine which operates under the parent company, Tinopolis.

The EPT is part-owned and sponsored by the online poker room, PokerStars. The father of the European Poker Tour is said to be John Duthie. He won the Poker Millions 2000 tournament and was an English television director before he dreamed of the European Poker Tour. He is now the CEO, executive director and a commentator for the European Poker Tour. Common destinations for the EPT have been Denmark, France, the UK, Spain, Germany and Ireland. The final of the tournament is held annually in Monte Carlo.

In 2004, season one, seven EPT events were held, all attracting less than 300 players. In total there were 1,468 players and a total prize pool of 4,780,972. The tournament was won by Rob Hollink. In 2005, season 2, 2,009 players entered over all of the events and there was a total prize pool of 9,824,000. It was won by Jeff Williams. In 2006, season 3, 3,481 players entered over all of the events and there was a total prize pool of 19,571,000. Gavin Griffin won the tournament. In 2007, season 4, the number of contestants jumped to 5,902 players with 75 different nationalities and they played for a prize pool of 38,248,788. Michael Schulze won the tournament.

European Poker Tour Format

The European Poker Tour adopted the format of the World Poker Tour, but with smaller buy-ins. As a result of the smaller buy-ins, the prize pool was smaller for the EPT than for the WPT. In fact, so much interest was shown in the EPT that the organizers had to raise the buy-in for the second season of the tournament as there were no large enough venues to accommodate the volume of players. By the fourth season of the EPT, the buy-in was raised to 8,000 (approximately $10,000 at the time).

The final table of the EPT is made up of eight players, compared to the six players on the final table of the WPT events.

Entering the European Poker Tour

Any player who can afford the buy-in for the European Poker Tour events is able to enter them. In addition, there are many satellite tournaments that are held prior to the event. PokerStars, the title sponsor of the EPT and a large and popular online poker room holds a number of satellite tournaments which players can enter for as little as $2.22. There are even a number of free satellite tournaments that customers of PokerStars can enter using their frequent player points. Another satellite tournament that players can enter is known as the EPT Steps satellite tournament that can be entered for $7.50. The first and second player of step 6 are awarded a seat at the final of the EPT in Monte Carlo.

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