Poker players have been waiting patiently for the announcement of a new online poker festival since PokerStars canceled several European live events back in March due to the pandemic.
PokerStars will hold an online edition of the European Poker Tour for the first time in their history. The virtual tourny will commence on November 8, 2020 and will run through to November 18, with 20 exclusive events supported by a guaranteed prize pool of $20 million. An additional 20 mini-events, the Mini-EPT, will also be held.
With commentary from Joe ‘Stapes’ Stapleton and James Hartigan, there will be almost a week of cards-up coverage of the online events on PokerStars’ Twitch channel. As players fight their way to glory, the coverage will pivot to PokerStars pros Lex Veldhuis, Fintan Hand, and Ben ‘Spraggy’ Spragg.
How Will The Online Festival Run?
The festival will run from November 9th to November 18th and comes with a guarantee of $20 million for 20 activities. The festival will be split into the online EPT, with a buy-in range of $215 to $25,000, and the Mini online EPT, with very low buy-ins.
PokerStars will run an additional EPT Online festival with 1/100th of the actual buy-ins, so that newbies, beginners, and players with a limited bankroll can get the complete EPT experience for a few bucks. A real-life EPT with 20 separate activities will mirror the virtual running of the EPT Online. Champions of every event will win cash and bragging rights as an EPT winner.
The Arena Championship will be EPT Online Event number 1, which has a $1,050 buy-in and a $1.5 million guaranteed prize pool. A $10 K Pot Limit Omaha High Roller 6-max that has a $500,000 guarantee will be EPT Online Event number 2. EPT Online event number 3, a $5 K No Limit High Roller, which also has a $500,000 guaranteed prize pool, is the final event on the opening day.
In the first week, the EPT Online will have at least one High Roller almost every day, with six days featuring a high ball affair. The EPT Online event number 10 will run a $25 K Super Max High Roller, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday, November 12, and has a $2 million guaranteed prize pool.
On Sunday, November 15, the EPT Online Main Event will run. This will feature a $5,200 buy-in, with a guaranteed prize pool of $5 million.
On Tuesday, November 17, the final event will commence (dubbed the ‘Last Chance’), and it comes with a $1,050 buy-in.
There will be free satellite setups that will give viewers a chance to get an EPT Online ticket. However, PokerStars will be dishing out tons of tickets to multiple events.
Mini-EPT was created for players of all skill levels and bankrolls. The schedule of the tournament is close, but the buy-ins for the Mini-EPT are just 1% of the initial buy-in. That means that you can play for as little as $5.50, or $215 as the highest “high roller” in the Mini EPT.
The Mini-EPT Main Event has a $55 buy-in and has a $500,000 guaranteed prize pool.
A little side note: on the PokerStars website, EPT Online is available to all European players, but Southern European players from certain countries are exempted. For players in France, Spain, Italy, and Portugal, the EPT Cup will run at the end of the month on November 22.
Speaking on the decision for creating an Online EPT for players worldwide, PokerStars’ Managing Director and Commercial Officer of Poker, Severin Rasset said that since the EPT is one of PokerStars most successful and well-loved poker tours and a must-play event in the calendars of poker players, they had to create an online version of the festival. He also noted the recognition and excitement that comes with winning a tournament of this magnitude, and the culture and friendships of players coming together as important factors in their decision to stage this event.
In recreating the live schedule for the poker community with online tables, ticket giveaways, and the chance to win EPT trophies, PokerStars is working to bring the EPT excitement and entertainment back again, even in this crazy pandemic time.