PokerStars are the most popular online poker site in the world, and many credit this success to their UIGEA resistance. Along with Full Tilt, they have reaped the rewards of continuing to accept U.S. players. However, what has helped keep PokerStars in such a prominent position is the commitment to poker in Europe. The cross-atlantic tactic has been emphasized by the announcement of the second half of the Season Six European Poker Tour schedule.
The six stop calender begins, as expected, at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Every year the PokerStars elite convene on Paradise Island to enjoy a high stakes poker tournament and some famously exuberant celebrations. The Bahamas based tournament has been happily co-opted by the EPT schedule and continues to be one of the tour’s highlights.
Following the sun and sea adventure, the tour returns to the European mainland and embarks on a whistle-stop tour of the continent’s most prominent countries. A €5,000 event in Deauville, France arrives at the end of January, followed by a trip to the Danish capital Copenhagen. Germany should be next up, but after a less than happy experience at last year’s host city Dortmund, details are still to be confirmed for the Deutschland stop.
The only major surprise on the EPT schedule is the newly added Austrian EPT Snowfest. Poker players with a penchant for the white stuff should feel right at home nestled between the Saalbach-Henterglemm mountains. The popular ski-resort has previously hosted the Alpine Ski World Championships and looks set to provide an alternative tournament experience for all those who brave the cold. Packages are waiting to be won on PokerStars now, and include ski equipment and passes alongside the standard tournament entry fees and accommodation.
EPT chief executive and poker pro John Duthie was keen to trumpet the success of their recent Festival of Poker at the EPT London. These mini-series add a range of different events around the high-stakes main event. “There has been huge enthusiasm for the…Festivals of Poker, like the one we held in London, and will be holding at the PCA, San Remo, and Monte Carlo events.” He also noted that the London version was the precursor to a main event that, “broke the record for the biggest poker tournament ever held in the UK!”
The aforementioned festival locations round out the Season 6 schedule. First up is San Remo, Italy in April, followed shortly by the Grand Final in glamourous Monte Carlo. Both the PCA and the Grand Final boast Main Event’s with $10k buy-ins, marking them as some of the most prestigious European tournament titles. Before the 2010 events can be played there are still stops in Vilamoura, Portugal (Nov. 16-21) and Prague, the Czech Republic (Dec 16th) to go.
The full 2010 schedule is as folllows:
EPT PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Bahamas, January 4-14, $10,000 + $300
EPT Deauville, France: January 20-25, €5,000 + €300
EPT Copenhagen, Denmark: February 16-21, 35.000 kr. + 2.250 kr.
EPT Germany: To be confirmed
EPT Snowfest, Austria: March 21-26, €3,500 + €250
EPT San Remo, Italy: April 15-21, €5,000 + €300
EPT Monte Carlo, Monaco: April 25-30, €10,000 + €600