Right in the middle of the biggest EPT Main Event ever Held, PokerStars’ Head of Live Poker Neil Johnson announced that the European Poker Tour will no longer exist. The upcoming stops in Malta and in December in Prague will be the last officials EPT events ever. Starting from next year, Pokerstars live events will be produced under two categories – PokerStars Global Championships and Poker Festivals.
The EPT, APPT, and LAPT – the major poker tours in Europe, the Asian-Pacific region, and Latin America – are going to be combined into the PokerStars Championship. The Championship Events will have buy-ins of $5,000/€5,000. The new tour will also mean a new Player of the Year contest with a tournament leader board at each stop. The player who tops each individual leaderboard will win a VIP package, including accommodation and PokerStars Championship Main Event buy-in for the first PokerStars Championship the following year, plus entry into a special invitational tournament featuring $100,000 winner-takes-all first prize.
PokerStars Festivals will unite the smaller PokerStars poker tours, i.e. the Estrella, Eureka, and the Italian Poker Tour, but also the regional poker tours in the US and will last slightly shorter at six-to-seven days, and have a Main Event buy-in of €/$1,000-1,500, as well as a wide variety of events for recreational players.
According to Pokerstars managers, there are more changes to come:
“We are always thinking of how to bring the best experience to players, through the variety of tournaments we sponsor, the ease of finding information, how we communicate to players and media, and the overall experience on and off the felt […] The PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival events are an enhancement of the existing PokerStars sponsored live tours, helping to take our vision for live poker to a whole new level.”
We do not know what exactly means this “new level”, because there are not so many infos about these new live formats. As a reddit user pouks comments about, we don’t know “what the significant differences are between EPT and the new incarnation. Thing is I don’t know if Pokerstars knows either.” “Definitely feel like the old adage ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ applies here”, he also said…
So, what do you think about all this?