European Poker Tour Returns With $2.6M Guarantee in Sochi

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The Sochi Casino & Resort plays host to the European Poker Tour later this month. (Photo courtesy Neil Stoddard/PokerStars)

The European Poker Tour officially returns in late-March with the first-ever EPT Sochi in Russia. It’s not the first time that the former Winter Olympics host has played host to a big tour though. The Sochi Casino and Resort hosted both partypoker and PokerStars in 2017. The PokerStars Championship traveled to Russia in May and put a $2.6 million prize pool up for grabs via a $5,300 (RUB 318,000) buy-in. This year promises to be even larger.

Main Event Takes Centerstage

The party starts on Friday, March 23. A $2.5 million guaranteed prize pool (RUB 150 million) is up for grabs over three starting flights for the EPT Main Event. The buy-in is just over $3,200 (RUB 192,000). Day 1A and 1B play 10 60-minute levels and Day 1C is a turbo flight of 10 30-minute rounds. The turbo flight starts at 8:00 pm local time on March 24.

The final prize pool will be known at the start of Day 2 on March 25. Levels from Day 2 all the way to the end of the event are 90 minutes apiece. The six-handed final table airs on PokerStars.tv on Thursday, March 29. All days of the EPT Main Event start at 12:00 pm local time.

Last year’s PokerStars Championship Main Event in Sochi attracted 387 entries. Pavel Shirshikov walked away with first-place and $515,774.

Quality Side Events

PokerStars Sochi brings a strong schedule of side events to the table. The EPT National is a primary tournament listed. The approximately $1,100 buy-in (RUB66,000) opens on Tuesday, March 20 and offers three starting flights. The first starting flight is 13 levels each and move for 45 minutes. Day 1B and 1C are the same schedules with levels reduced to 30 minutes. The three flights combine on Thursday, March 22 and play hour levels until the end of the event on Day 3.

Two events startup on March 27, just in time to catch the Main Event bustouts. The EPT High Roller and EPT Cup both run for three days.

The High Roller is a buy-in of roughly $10,500 (RUB 617,000) and is a single re-entry. Day 1 levels are 45 minutes and are 60 for Day 2 and Day 3. Registration is open up until Level 11.

For those looking for a faster-paced event, the EPT Cup is just that. All three starting flights are 20-minute levels before switching to 30 in Day 2.

Other side events include Win The Button, Pot Limit Omaha, and other single-day No Limit Hold’em events.

Complete EPT Sochi Main Event Schedule

Date Event Number Name Buy-in (RUB) Buy-in (USD)
March 20 1 NL Hold’em – EPT National (Three-Day Event) 66,000 ₽ $1,108
March 22 3 NL Hold’em Super Deep Stack 33,000 ₽ $554
March 23 5 NL Hold’em – EPT Sochi Main Event (Six-Day Event 192,000 ₽ $3,223
March 25 9 NL Hold’em – (Two-Day Event) 33,000 ₽ $554
March 26 10 NL Hold’em – (One-Day Event) 132,000 ₽ $2,216
March 26 11 NL Hold’em – Win the Button (One-Day Event) 33,000 ₽ $554
March 27 12 Pot Limit Omaha – (One-Day Event) 33,000 ₽ $554
March 27 13 NL Hold’em EPT High Roller (Three-Day Event) 630,000 ₽ $10,576
March 27 14 NL Hold’em (One-Day Event) 66,000 ₽ $1,108
March 27 15 NL Hold’em EPT Cup (Three-Day Event) 33,000 ₽ $554
March 29 16 NL Hold’em – (One-Day Event) 13,200 ₽ $222
March 29 17 NL Hold’em – (One-Day Event) 66,000 ₽ $1,108