PokerStar Wraps EPT in Sochi and Preps for Prague
The European Poker Tour took a pandemic hiatus during the pandemic as did most other live tournament series. However, it was one of the first ones to return in 2020. PokerStars took the EPT to Sochi, Russia in October 2020, though they removed guarantees and expectations for turnout. But it played to conclusion, masks and travel restrictions and all.
Most other locales partnered with the EPT were not ready to do the same. So, PokerStars took the series online later in 2020. The EPT Online ran on PokerStars – obviously – as did a Mini EPT with lower buy-ins. The main series offered 20 tournaments and $20M in guarantees. In the end, it brought in $21.2M via more than 13K entries.
This year, PokerStars was determined to bring the European Poker Tour back. It did another stop in Sochi, which just wrapped. And very recently, the poker operator announced that the EPT Prague will return to the Czech Republic in December of this year.
Another Sochi Success
PokerStars took its EPT Open Sochi to Casino Sochi October 2-11 with a festival of tournaments culminating in a Main Event. The full series offered 30 tournaments, including satellites, with everything from the EPT Cup to a High Roller.
The first major event of the series awarded a spade trophy to Andrey Danilyuk in the PLO tournament. The EPT Open Sochi High Roller event brought in 195 entries for a RUB 45,522,750 prize pool. The top 27 players cashed, but Vadim Lipovka of Belarus won it for RUB 10,082,800 (approximately €121,539).
The Main Event cost RUB 133,000 to enter, and the final tally showed 1,210 entries, the largest field in the event’s history. It set the prize pool at RUB 142,296,000 (more than €1.7M) and paid out 175 players. The final table of 10 players included two Germans, one of them being Henri Toussaint as the chip leader.
As the final table played out, the final five ended up agreeing on a payout deal. Toussaint made it to heads-up play against Evgeniy Starinkov. The latter finally won to grab the trophy, though Toussaint – via the deal – walked away with more money. The 26-year-old winner thanked his mother, who turned out to rail him at the final table and who started watching poker with him when he was 14 years old. The final results were:
-1st place: Evgeniy Starinkov (Russia) RUB 16,029,300 (approximately €193K)
-2nd place: Henri Toussaint (Germany) RUB 16,450,000 (approximately €198K)
-3rd place: Anton Mamaev (Russia) RUB 9,100,000
-4th place: Ivan Vasilev (Russia) RUB 12,950,000
-5th place: Oleg Bogdanov (Russia) RUB 10,500,000
Как не победить, когда твой главный болельщик – мама!!! 🧓
Tрогательное интервью семьи победителя Главного События #EPTOpenSochi
Нашим мамам 👍👍👍
Интервью: https://t.co/pQBnR8Rqm9 pic.twitter.com/6M5bVhq8pQ
— PokerStars Россия (@PokerStarsRU) October 12, 2021
Prepping for Prague
Just a few weeks ago, PokerStars announced that EPT Prague is once again on the schedule for December 8-19. The pandemic forced the cancellation of the festival in the Czech Republic last year, but it’s on this year. The entire festival will offer 59 tournaments, ranging from €130 qualifiers to the €50K High Roller.
King’s Casino Prague at the Hilton Prague will host the series for players 18 and over. There are conditions for players and visitors to meet, however. Players must show a vaccination certificate, or negative PCR test no older than seven days, or negative antigen test result no older than 72 hours, or proof of recovery from Covid-19 within 180 days. The antigen tests will be available at the casino. Players must also wear face masks at all times and submit to a temperature check upon entry to the facility.
Of the dozens of tournaments on the schedule, some of the highlights will include:
-Event 6 on December 9-13: €1,100 buy-in EPT National (4 starting flights)
-Event 14 on December 11-13: €50K buy-in EPT Super High Roller
-Event 18 on December 12-13: €2,200 buy-in EPT National High Roller
-Event 21 on December 13-19: €5,300 buy-in EPT Prague Main Event (2 flights)
-Event 48 on December 17-19: €10,300 buy-in EPT Prague High Roller
PokerStars Live posted the schedule in its entirety. There will also be cash games running 24 hours a day.
— PokerStars LIVE (@PokerStarsLIVE) September 30, 2021