The sixth season of the European Poker Tour (EPT) was set to begin in the historic city of Moscow, Russia. However, the recent closure of casinos in the country has led to big changes for the EPT. In a recent announcement by PokerStars, which sponsors the tournament series, it was revealed that the Moscow event would be replaced by a new stop in Kiev, Ukraine.
In an e-mail sent to the media last week, PokerStars officials explained that EPT Moscow was no more: “That event has been canceled because our ability to run the event was placed in doubt due to the recent closure of all casinos in Russia. Euro Poker Tour Ltd. sincerely apologizes to all players who were intending to attend the Moscow event, but unfortunately these circumstances were beyond our control.” The kickoff tournament of Season 6 of the EPT was to be held at the Radisson SAS Slavyanskaya from August 18th to 23rd.
Kiev will take center stage on the same dates. The action will emanate from the city’s Sports Palace in a tournament endorsed by the Ukrainian Ministry of Youth, Family, and Sport in partnership with the Ukrainian Poker Federation. PokerStars players who claimed EPT Moscow packages will be able to exchange them for Kiev trips. Alternately, players can receive a credit for a future EPT event or pocket the cash equivalent. Unlike Russia, the Ukraine does not require a visa for visits that are less than 90 days in length, but check with your local embassy before you start booking travel.
Here’s a look at the revised schedule for Season 6 of the EPT. Mark your calendars now:
EPT Kiev: August 18th to 23rd at Sports Palace Kiev
600 max players
EPT Barcelona: September 4th to 9th at Casino Barcelona
700 max players
EPT London: October 2nd to 7th at Hilton London Metropole
800 max players
EPT Warsaw: October 20th to 25th at Casinos Poland
25,000K PLN buy-in
400 max players
EPT Vilamoura: November 17th to 22nd at Vilamoura Casino
600 max players
EPT Prague: December 1st to 6th at Golden Prague Poker
600 max players
PokerStars Caribbean Adventure: January 4th to 14th at Atlantis Hotel and Casino
1,600 max players
The Hilton London Metropole represents a much larger venue for the EPT, which formerly placated the Grosvenor Victoria Casino. As a result, the stop boasts an increased capacity of 800 players, the second largest of Season 6. Only half of the schedule has been announced so far, as six more events will be unveiled in the near future. In the meantime, the EPT will make its first ventures into the Ukraine and Poland. Season 6 of the EPT marks the first time that Barcelona will not serve as the kickoff event. Instead, Kiev will assume that honor. Last year, World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Sebastian Ruthenberg took down the Barcelona feature tournament.
There were 11 stops on Season 5 of the EPT, beginning in Barcelona and ending in Monaco for the Monte Carlo Grand Final. Pieter De Korver, who defeated American Matthew Woodward heads-up, won the latter tournament. Other Season 5 EPT champions included Michael Martin (London), Will Fry (Budapest), Salvatore Bonavena (Prague), Poorya Nazari (PokerStars Caribbean Adventure), Jens Kyllönen (Copenhagen), Sandra Naujoks (Dortmund), Moritz Kranich (Deauville), João Barbosa (Warsaw), and Constant Rijkenberg (San Remo).
EPT events air across the continent, including in Spain (A3), the Ukraine (Megasport), Slovenia (Sport TV), the United Kingdom (Sky Sports 1, 2, 3, and Xtra), and Russia (Sport TV). Check out more information on the EPT by visiting the Mac-friendly online poker site PokerStars.