European Poker Tour Goes Virtual With EPT Online

  • EPT Online consists of 20 events and will run November 8-18
  • PokerStars will serve as host, streaming six days on its Twitch channel
  • A “Mini-EPT” series with much smaller buy-ins will run concurrently
  • Very few poker tournaments have returned to live casinos during the pandemic
EPT Online Logo
The European Poker Tour has announced its new EPT Online poker series, to be held November 8-18 on [Image:]

Live streaming with hole cards

In both a first and a last for poker in 2020, the European Poker Tour (EPT) has announced the creation of EPT Online. It is the first poker tournament series the EPT has taken to the internet, making it the last of the three major live tours/series (World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker) to do so.

PokerStars, the sponsor of the European Poker Tour, will host EPT Online November 8-18. Six of the days will be live streamed on PokerStars’ Twitch channel, featuring cards-up coverage and commentary by James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton. Several players, including PokerStars Ambassadors Lex Veldhuis, Ben “Spraggy” Spragg, and Fintan Hand, will also stream their own play.

we wanted to bring the EPT excitement and entertainment back again”

In Monday’s announcement, Severin Rasset, managing director and commercial officer of poker at PokerStars, said: “We wanted to bring the EPT excitement and entertainment back again by recreating the live schedule for our poker community with online tables, ticket giveaways and the opportunity to win EPT trophies.”

Events for all bankrolls

EPT Online will feature 20 events with buy-ins ranging from $215 to $25,000 and total guaranteed prize pools of $20m. Most tournaments cost $5,200 or less. The idea is to mimic a live EPT festival as much as possible. As such, every event winner will also receive an EPT trophy.

The EPT Online Main Event has a $5,200 buy-in and will take place on Sunday, November 15. It is an eight-handed tournament and, as one might expect, the game is No-Limit Hold’em.

Other highlights of the schedule include the $25,000 NLHE Super High Roller event, the $1,100 buy-in EPT Arena Championship, and the $5,200 8-Game High Roller event.

PokerStars and the EPT are also giving “low rollers” a shot to enjoy the festivities, running the Mini-EPT directly parallel to the EPT Online. The schedule is exactly the same – all of the events are identical, the dates are the same, and the times are the same. The difference is that the buy-ins are one one-hundredth of the buy-ins for EPT Online. Buy-ins top out at $215 and go all the way down to $2.20.

Poker world is online in 2020

As the world began realizing the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March, live poker tournaments around the world were either postponed or canceled outright. The European Poker Tour, in fact, is the only major tour to have returned to a casino so far. Just a couple weeks ago, EPT Sochi (Russia), which was originally scheduled for March, concluded at Casino Sochi.

Other live tournaments that have resumed, particularly in the United States, have either been regional tours or smaller, daily/weekend tournaments at local casinos. In Las Vegas, some of the poker rooms that opened as soon as casinos got the go-ahead to reopen in early June began running single-table tournaments almost immediately. The Venetian poker room was the first to hold a multi-table tournament in Las Vegas during the pandemic, spreading tourneys June 19 and 20.

The World Series of Poker has moved all of its tournaments, including WSOP Circuit events, online. This summer, it held the 2020 WSOP Online on in Nevada and New Jersey for players in those states, and on GGPoker for international players. The World Poker Tour has also held massive online tournament series on partypoker, both in the United States (New Jersey) and around the world.

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