Book your place for some #StarsFun at the EPT Grand Final
You might already have it marked on the calendar; you may even be counting down the days. Alternatively you might be grinding away in satellites, or giving the new Spin & Go's a try, which so far have turned a few dollars into a package worth €9,000 for more than 100 players. But whatever you're doing, you're likely of the same mind - that one way or another the EPT Grand Final is not to be missed, and you need to get there.
We salute that attitude, because we happen to think it's dead right. The EPT Grand Final in Monaco is an event like no other, in a part of the world like no other. As if that wasn't enough the EPT festival is probably the best of its kind anywhere.
Part of that is because while the action at the tables is the best of its kind, events away from the table offers a few more reasons to be cheerful, from prizes and parties, even a career change. It's called #StarsFun, and here are some of the details.
Sports Simulator Challenge
I know what you're thinking. Come on, it's just a video game. But poker players like to win, and that extends to beyond the table. One minute you're running deep in a tournament, the next you can think of nothing but beating a high score. That's where the EPT Grand Final "Hexathlon" comes in.
Running between April 27* to May 5 from noon to 10pm, the 'Hexathlon' will award prizes for the daily high score and overall leader board prizes, with members of Team PokerStars Pro taking part. The games played include football, field hockey, golf-putting, American football, basketball and tennis.
1st: ESPT Barcelona Main Event package + Helicopter ride for two
2nd: 'Sunday Bundle' of online tickets + Helicopter ride for two
3rd: Helicopter ride for two
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Charity Event in aid of Right To Play
There will be more prizes on offer in the Right To Play charity event, taking place on April 30 at 7:30pm. These have taken place at every EPT stop this season, proving hugely popular, not just for the cause itself but for the spirit at atmosphere in which the tournaments are played.
In Monaco there will be more of the same, and more great prizes to be won. The format is still a €150 buy in with unlimited €50 rebuys, and as before various Pros are expected to turn out, with prizes donated by EPT Travel. What do they include? Glad you asked.
1st: €1,000 in cash
2nd: iPhone 6 Plus
3rd: €550 in Live Event tournament credits
4th: iPad Air 2
5th: Weekend away for two
6th: Apple watch
7th: €330 in Live Event tournament credits
8th: Dinner for two
Live SPIN & GO
There's something oddly enthralling about a live Spin & Go, which never fails to attract a sizeable rail, not least when the wheel is spun and when three players sit down to play for big money. In Monaco you can do the same, as the revolutionary online format goes all "real life".
Spin & Go's will be running from April 27 to May 4 between 1pm-8pm, with the replica wheel awarding up to €10,000 per spin in each three-handed game. That's the most we've ever offered in a live setting, and guaranteed to draw a crowd.
Buy-ins range from €55 to €550, awarding the following maximum prizes per spin:
€50 + €5, win up to €1,000
€100 + €10, win up to €2,000
€200 + €20, win up to €4,000
€500 + €50, win up to €10,000
Away from the tables PokerStars is once again looking to tap into the creative genius of its players in our Ideas Hub, which runs from April 30 to May 2, from 5pm to 9pm each day. Players are invited to come along and share their PokerStars ideas with representatives from the company. It's a forum that has come up with various creations that have transformed the playing experience on PokerStars, and it's a tradition we're keen to continue. Come along and tell us about your big idea.
Alternatively if you're interested in working for the world best poker dealer team, then you'll be interested in our Dealer Auditions taking place on the final day of the EPT Grand Final, May 6 at 2pm. They're open to anyone who meets the criteria. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details, or visit the Information Desk at the event.
Lastly, it wouldn't be an EPT finale without a player party, which this time signs off Season 12 in spectacular fashion at Jimmy'z nightclub. It all kicks off at 10pm, with free drinks available up until midnight. After that the Riviera is your Oyster - as it is for the duration of the festival. Few places match the Riviera for climate, beauty and general joie de vivre. Whether your interests lay at the table or off it, the festival is not to be missed. Find all the details you'll need on the EPT homepage.
* This date was originally listed as 26 April, then incorrectly changed to 27 April. Apologies.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.