RIP EPT: PokerStars Rebrands Live Tours as Championships, Festivals
Last Wednesday, in the middle of the biggest EPT Main Event ever Held, PokerStars' Head of Live Poker Neil Johnson announced that the brand is entirely revamping its live tournament offerings.
Starting in 2017 live events will now fall under two categories - PokerStars Global Championships and Poker Festivals - and the popular EPT series will be no longer.
The upcoming stops in Malta and in December in Prague will be the last officials EPT events ever.
Enter the PokerStars Global Championships
The popular European Poker Tour and all over the regional tours will now be known as the PokerStars Global Championships.
This will be PokerStars' primary live tournament series with stops in some of the world's largest venues.
Each event will last between 10 and 11 days and will feature up to 100 tournaments each. The Main Event for each stop will be €/$5,000.
Kicking off the new season in 2017 will be the PokerStars Championship Bahamas (formerly known as the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure).
Stops were also announced in Monte Carlo, Panama, Barcelona and Macau. Additional stops will be revealed in upcoming months.
The new tour will also feature a revamped Player of the Year contest with a leader board at each venue. The individual leader at each stop will win a VIP package for the first stop of the PokerStars Championship the following year.
In addition these players will receive an invitation into an special invitational event with a $100k "Winner-Takes-All" prize.
Regional Events Now PokerStars Festivals
For those that like smaller events like the WSOP Circuit or WPT Regional, then PokerStars Festivals will be for you.
These smaller events will run from six to seven days with events targeted for recreational players. The main event of each stop will feature a buy-in of $1,000 to $1,500.
One of the first two stops will be held in New Jersey, taking advantage of PokerStars' new presence in the United States. The other stop announced is in London.
According to PokerStars Director of Live Events Edgar Stuchly:
"The PokerStars Championship will include top-tier events that will visit the most exciting and prestigious destinations worldwide, similar to the much-loved European Poker Tour, while the PokerStars Festival events have a more regional feel, positioned as an action-packed poker vacation."
The first festival will run from October 29 through November 6 at the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. The event will feature 40 tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $100 to $5,000.
Some of the players expected to play in the event include Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Jason Somerville, Vanessa Selbst and Chris Moneymaker.