Take a swing at the EPT Vilamoura Fairways and Felts Challenge

ept-thumb-promo.jpgAnyone who played last season's debut EPT Vilamoura tournament will know this area of Portugal is famous for golfing. Now PokerStars has created a unique challenge for players heading to the Algarve for the EPT later this month.

The EPT Vilamoura Fairways and Felts Challenge will see players battling it out on the fairways and the felt.

The €1,100 buy-in event will take place during the last two days of EPT Vilamoura's Main Event on September 1-2 and players can win their place online when satellites start on August 9 as well buy-in direct on the PokerStars client.

The first leg of the Fairways and Felts Challenge, which will be capped at 72 players, will be on the beautiful tree-lined fairways of Pinhal Course, a stunning championship course set in rolling parkland only a few minutes from Vilamoura Marina. Players will be randomly allocated to teams and, following an established Texas Scramble format, scores from each member of the team will be taken into account.

Performances on the golf course will then determine the number of chips players start with on the second day of the contest - a No Limit Texas Hold'em Freezeout poker tournament to be held at Solverde Casino in Vilamoura.

Scores of top poker pros are keen golfers, including members of Team PokerStars Pro. Daniel Negreanu is famously hooked on the game, while Greg Raymer has been known to trade poker for golf lessons.

The recent PokerStars Estrellas Poker Tour event in Madrid even had golfing legend Sergio Garcia gracing the tables!


Sergio Garcia

In Portugal it will be UK & Ireland Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly who hosts the EPT Vilamoura Fairways and Felts Challenge - which includes a players' dinner and prize ceremony after the event.

JP Kelly said: "I haven't been playing golf that long but I'm already well and truly hooked. Golf is a perfect antidote to the stresses of the poker table - it's physical but also includes the kind of mental challenges that poker players relish.

"Vilamoura is home to some of the best golf courses in the world - in fact, the entire resort was built around courses - so I am very excited at the prospect of playing there. I'm even hoping to go out early with friends to get some practice in beforehand."


Swinger: JP Kelly

The €1,100 Fairways and Felts Challenge buy-in includes golf course green fees (but not club hire) and entry into the poker tournament. The package is split €770 + €70 for the poker, €260 for the golf. Players will get free transport to and from the golf course from the Solverde Casino or Crowne Plaza hotel, a goodie bag filled with golf and poker swag, breakfast and lunch served at the golf course and an awards ceremony and dinner at the end of Day 1.

To be eligible for the Challenge, all entrants must comply with Pinhal's dress code. Payout details and tournament structure will be released nearer the time.

The EPT Vilamoura Main Event is a €5,300 buy-in tournament running August 28 through September 2. 322 players competed last season, creating a prize pool of more than €1.5 million and making it the richest poker tournament ever held in Portugal. Local businessman Antonio Matias triumphantly took the title and €404,793 first prize.

Satellites for this season's EPT Vilamoura Main Event are running now on PokerStars until August 22.

For further information see the Fairways and Felts Challenge page. And click here for information about Pinhal Golf Course.

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in European Poker Tour