EPT Grand Final moves to Madrid

ept-thumb-promo.jpgFor those who like their EPT schedules 'freshened up', then this is indeed good news: this year's EPT Grand Final has upped sticks and moved from Monte Carlo, along the French Mediterranean coast and into central Spain to Madrid.

PokerStars announced today that the EPT Season 7 finale, which will attract the top players from around the world, will take place in the glitzy Casino Gran Madrid from May 7-12.

EPT chief executive John Duthie does not really need to do the hard sell on Madrid, which has a heady mix of glittering nightlife, outstanding museums and history. But he couldn't resist it.

"It is with the greatest pleasure that we are able to announce Casino Gran Madrid as the new venue for the EPT Grand Final," Duthie said. "We wanted somewhere new, dynamic and inspiring, and knew that Madrid would tick all the boxes for the travelling poker player, regardless of age or desires. The same familiar team will be running the event and the schedule will, I am sure, provide something for everyone. All the usual qualifying satellites will be held on PokerStars.com and other regional versions of the site, giving all players of all nationalities the opportunity to join us in launching from our new home. Hasta la vista!"

The highlight of the Grand Final festival will be the €10,000 main event, which is expected to attract a capacity field. There will also be a full schedule of side events including a €25,000 High Roller which begins two days before the main event.

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Nicolas Chouity, last year's Grand Final winner

Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu said: "I'm excited about the move to Madrid and I'm looking forward to seeing what the capital has to offer. Poker is booming in Spain so you can expect a decent number of local players to attend and ensure a juicy prize pool."

Paula Arriaga Teruel, Deputy General Director of the Casino Gran Madrid, added: "Hosting the final of one of the most prestigious and important poker events in the world, after it was held in Monte Carlo for many years, notes the great professional work that the Casino Gran Madrid carries out every day. This decision confirms the Torrelodones Casino as one of the leading centres of poker in Europe."

Those sentiments were even supported by Carlos Galbeño, Mayor of Madrid, Torrelodones, who said: "The fact that the Casino Gran Madrid Torrelodones has been chosen to host the Grand Final of the seventh season of the European Poker Tour is great news for the Madrid community. However, it is especially important for our town, because not only will the event have a huge economic impact, it will also allow us to project our city as a prime tourist spot in Europe. I am sure that Torrelodones will rise to the challenge."

To back up the mayor's economic reasoning, PokerStars reckions that the total economic benefits of EPT Madrid could be in excess of €10,000,000, with over €5 million coming from player, spectator and media spend, and another €5 million coming from the value of media exposure, including TV broadcasts. That's a lot of euros.

Satellites to EPT Grand Final (seat + expenses) will begin on February 28 with full packages to follow shortly after.

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Dates for the EPT stop in San Remo, Italy, have also been announced. The festival - which was last year won by Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree and is one of the most popular EPT events of the year - will take place from April 27 to May 3 at Casino San Remo on the picturesque Italian Riviera. More than 1,000 players are again expected to take part in the €5,000 main event.

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in PokerStars news