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[caption width="640"] Over the course of the next year PokerStars will give away million worth of seats to the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold'em Championship[/caption] One year ago, PokerStars officially said goodbye to the the beloved European Poker Tour as part of its global rebranding as PokerStars Live, but on Friday afternoon the online poker giant announced the EPT was coming back - but that's not all. The company also announced the creation of the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold'em Championship, a $25,000 buy-in event set for the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Over the course of the next year, PokerStars will give away an estimated $8,000,000 worth of "Platinum Passes" through promotions at live events and through the online product. Each Platinum Pass is worth roughly $30,000 and includes tournament buy-in and travel to the 2019 PCA. “We expect the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship will set the new global standard for live poker tournaments,” said Chief Executive Officer of The Stars Group, Rafi Ashkenazi. “We want to demonstrate and reinforce our commitment to the game, and give something back to the players by investing in our live events in a meaningful way. Our objective is to create an event that brings professionals and amateurs together, creating many winning moments and unforgettable stories.” PokerStars is also adding $1 million to the first place prize. Players can also buy-in to the event directly for $25,000. The first Platinum Pass was awarded as part of the announcement. Mihai Manole, one of two players to bust on the bubble of the PSC Prague Main Event, won his pass after winning a single hand against Andrzej Siemieniak. At least one Platinum Pass will be given away at each PokerStars live festival over the next year. “I’m super excited about the Players No Limit Hold’em Championship,” said Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu. “This is going to be an incredible experience for those who participate and everyone, no matter their skill level, has a chance to win a Platinum Pass. It will be a must play event with loads of added value.” Passes can be won online in tournaments, cash games, promotions and through the Stars Rewards program. The first online winners will come from the upcoming PokerStars Winter Series from December 25 - January 7. The EPT isn't the only brand coming back. PokerStars announced the return of the Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) and Asia-Pacific Poker Tour (APT) for 2018. The move means the end of the PokerStars Championship tour.
Next up on the European Poker Tour schedule is EPT Prague. The event heads to Casino Atrium Prague at the Hilton Prague December 7-18, for a plentiful festival that includes 43 events. EPT Prague is anchored by the €5,300 Main Event running December 12-18 and the series will also award two Platinum Passes to the PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship. In addition to the €5,300 Main Event, the EPT Prague schedule features the €1,100 buy-in EPT National event December 8-12, the €50,000 buy-in EPT Super High Roller December 10-12, and the €10,300 buy-in EPT High Roller December 16-18. Prague Known for Its Big Numbers EPT Prague is one of the European Poker Tour’s most iconic stops, and it never fails to deliver with impressive field sizes and large payouts. If you include the one-year rebranded PokerStars Championship Prague in 2017, the Prague Main Event has attracted 9,065 entries over the years and generated a total of €43.8 million in prize money. That’s an average field size of 824 entries and an average prize pool of nearly €4 million. The first-place prize has averaged nearly €750,000, too. France’s Arnaud Mattern was the first EPT Prague Main Event winner when he took the crown back in 2007, and other past winners include Roberto Romanello in 2010, Martin Finger in 2011, and Stephen Graner in 2014. Jasper Van Putten won the largest EPT Prague Main Event, topping a field of 1,192 entries in 2016 to win €699,300 after a heads-up deal was made with Marton Czuczor. Graner’s €969,000 prize from 2014 remains the largest first-place payout in EPT Prague Main Event history. The €10,300 buy-in High Roller has also been a favorite of players heading to Prague. First installed in 2010, this event has attracted a total of 1,584 entries and generated more than €16.6 million in prize money. The €1,100 buy-in National tournament is Prague’s best mid-tier offering and known to attract tons of players, with 9,746 entries across six years and a total of €9.45 million dished out. That’s an average field size of more than 1,600 runners. Two Platinum Pass Packages Up for Grabs EPT Prague will award two coveted Platinum Pass packages, valued at $30,000 each. The packages include a $25,000 entry into the PSPC tournament in the Bahamas in January 2019, six nights’ accommodation at the Atlantis Resort in Nassau, and $2,000 in travel expenses and room folio credit. Details on how to win a Platinum Pass during EPT Prague have yet to be released, but stay tuned to PocketFives.com for an update. The Czech Republic Capital Delivers Off the Felt, Too If you’re a fan of poker and the winter holiday season, there are few places better than Prague in the month of December for the EPT’s trip there. The city is absolutely beautiful at this time of year, dressed from head to toe in holiday garb with incredible sights and delicious treats to delight. For the adventurers out there, Prague has a few must-see attractions, starting with the Charles Bridge and Old Town Square. Taking a stroll across the 14th Century Charles Bridge is simply charming. It’s as picturesque as anywhere in the world and comes full of life. Prague’s Old Town Square has become a favorite of anyone who travels to EPT Prague. The historic streets are lined with restaurants and holiday vendors for you to grab a bite or a pint while listening to live music or enjoying one of the many street performers putting on a show. While you’re down in Old Town Square, make sure you check out the Prague Astronomical Clock. The medieval clock is the oldest astronomical clock in the world that is still in operation. As you continue to stroll around town, you may want to check out Prague Castle. It’s stunning and provides amazing views of the city. EPT Prague Schedule DATE TIME EVENT TOURNAMENT BUY-IN 12/7/18 4 p.m. 1 NL Hold'em €1,100 6 p.m. 2 NL Hold'em - 8 Handed €10,300 8 p.m. 3 NL Hold'em - EPT National Qualifier 'Win your seat at 100,000 chips' €125 12/8/18 12 p.m. 4 (1a) NL Hold'em - EPT National €1,100 2 p.m. 5 NL Hold'em - €1,100 Cash Qualifier €120 7 p.m. 6 NL Hold'em - €1,100 Cash Qualifier €120 10 p.m. 7 NL Hold'em - Hyper Turbo - Freezeout €1,100 12/9/18 12 p.m. 4 (1b) NL Hold'em - EPT National €1,100 4 p.m. 8 NL Hold'em - EPT Super High Roller Qualifier €5,200 7 p.m. 4 (1c) NNL Hold'em - EPT National €1,100 10 p.m. 9 NL Hold'em - Hyper Turbo €1,100 12/10/18 12 p.m. 10 (1a) NL Hold'em - EPT Cup €330 12:30 p.m. 11 NL Hold'em - EPT Super High Roller €50,000 2 p.m. 12 NL Hold'em - EPT Main Event Qualifier 'Win your seat at 100,000 chips' €600 6 p.m. 10 (1b) NL Hold'em - EPT Cup - Re-Entry To A Following Flight €330 10 p.m. 13 NL Hold'em - Hyper Turbo - Knockout €2,150 12/11/18 12 p.m. 14 NL Hold'em - EPT National High Roller €2,200 4 p.m. 15 NL Hold'em - EPT Main Event Qualifier €800 9 p.m. 16 NL Hold'em - EPT Main Event Qualifier €550 12/12/18 12 p.m. 17 (1a) NL Hold'em - EPT Prague Main Event €5,300 4 p.m. 18 NL Hold'em - EPT Main Event Qualifier €800 8 p.m. 19 NL Hold'em - EPT Main Event Qualifier €550 10 p.m. 20 NL Hold'em - Turbo - To €25,000 €2,700 12/13/18 12 p.m. 17 (1b) NL Hold'em - EPT Prague Main Event €5,300 12:30 p.m. 21 NL Hold'em €25,000 4 p.m. 22 PL Omaha €1,100 9 p.m. 23 NL Hold'em - Hyper Turbo €2,150 24 NL Hold'em - Turbo €550 12/14/18 2 p.m. 25 NL Hold'em €2,200 2 p.m. 26 PL Omaha €10,300 8 p.m. 27 (1a) NL Hold'em - Weekend - Super Stack €330 10 p.m. 28 NL Hold'em - Turbo - To €25,000 €2,700 12/15/18 12:30 p.m. 29 NL Hold'em €25,000 1 p.m. 27 (1b) NL Hold'em - Weekend - Super Stack €330 6 p.m. 27 (1c) NL Hold'em - Weekend - Super Stack €330 6 p.m. 30 NL Hold'em - Turbo - EPT High Roller Qualifier €1,650 10 p.m. 31 NL Hold'em - Hyper Turbo €1,100 12/16/18 12 p.m. 32 H.O.R.S.E. €550 12 p.m. 33 NL Hold'em - Hyper Turbo - EPT High Roller Qualifier €1,100 12:30 p.m. 34 NL Hold'em - EPT Prague High Roller €10,300 4 p.m. 35 NL Hold'em €1,100 6 p.m. 36 NL Hold'em - Turbo - Win The Button €330 10 p.m. 37 NL Hold'em - Hyper Turbo - Knockout €2,150 12/17/18 4 p.m. 38 NL Hold'em - Deep Stack €2,200 6 p.m. 39 NL Hold'em €10,300 12/18/18 12:30 p.m. 40 NL Hold'em - Turbo €220 2 p.m. 41 NL Hold'em - Turbo - 6 Handed €2,150 5 p.m. 42 NL Hold'em - Turbo - 6 Handed €5,200 6 p.m. 43 NL Hold'em - Super Hyper Turbo €1,100 *Photo courtesy of PokerStars.
Although some land-based casinos have started reopening their poker rooms, players will have to wait an additional year for the 2020 PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) and EPT Barcelona events. On Friday, PokerStars made the announcement that it is postponing the two festivals until 2021. "We realize that this news will come as a disappointment to many, but we know you will understand and appreciate why this is necessary," a post on the PokerStars Blog stated. "Our priority is the safety and good health of all our players and staff, as well as the communities that host such large events." The second edition of the PSPC was scheduled to take place August 20-24, 2020, at Casino Barcelona, with the always popular EPT Barcelona festival wrapped around it. Exact dates for the 2021 edition have yet to be announced, but it is planned to still be held in Barcelona. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="Party Poker NJ"] There were 320 Platinum Passes set to be awarded to the 2020 PSPC event, of which nearly 200 have already been given out through various promotions. Those that already hold Platinum Passes for the 2020 PSPC will be eligible to use them for the 2021 event. Plus, PokerStars is upping the number of Platinum Passes to be awarded, taking it from 320 to 400. "While we cannot provide exact dates at this time, we do know that the PSPC will be back bigger and better in 2021 at Casino Barcelona," the post stated. "Until then, we will focus on creating a life-changing and memorable PokerStars experience for when we are safe and together again." The news comes almost exactly one month after the 2020 World Series of Poker was postponed as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to the postponed of the PSPC and EPT Barcelona, PokerStars announced that is has canceled the Road to PSPC Cannes, Road to PSPC Madrid Torrelodones, and Manilla Super Series 14 stops. The first-ever PSPC, held as part of the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure festival, awarded 320 Platinum Passes and generated a field of 1,039 entries. Ramon Colillas was crowned champion for $5.1 million. With its $26.455 million prize pool, the event became the largest $25,000 buy-in poker tournament of all time. PSPC 2020 was already anticipated to take this record to new heights, and now with an additional 80 Platinum Passes to be awarded it hopes to be even bigger. For those with questions regarding the postponements, PokerStars has put together a PSPC Postponement FAQ page with more information.