Travel Guide: EPT Deauville

ept-thumb-promo.jpgFrom Jan. 31 through Feb. 6, 2012, the European Poker Tour will travel to the seaside resort of Deauville in France.

The stop, which features several events, will look to build upon last year's record-breaking field in the €5,000 + €300 Main Event that saw Lucien Cohen top an 891-player field to capture a €880,000 first-place prize. Needless to say, Deauville is one of the highlights on the EPT schedule each and every year.

The Basics
Location: Deauville, France
Language: French
Currency: Euro
Visas: Europeans visitor do not need a visa. North American and Australians can stay for 90 days.
International Dialing Code: +33
Time: France is in the Central European Time zone
Tourist Information: Deauville.com

According to the EPT website:

"The beautiful seaside town of Deauville, built in the classic Belle Epoque style, has been a popular venue for Europe's high stakes gamblers since the 1910s.

"The town - featured in the film 'Gigi' - has one of Europe's most beautiful casinos, lovely architecture, a stunning beach and great shopping. Since 1975, Deauville has been home to the Deauville American Film Festival.

"The pretty Normandy seaside resorts of Le Touquet and Honfleurs are also easily reached by car and, for those interested in local history, Deauville is near the D-Day landing beaches, as immortalized in the film 'Saving Private Ryan'. There is an excellent D-Day museum in the nearby town of Caen."

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Getting There & Around

If you're headed to France by air, your best bet is to fly into Paris and catch a train or car ride to Deauville. If you prefer the former, there are direct trains from Paris St Lazare station, a trip that takes approximately two hours. With trains leaving throughout the day, this is a very convenient option.

If you prefer to travel by car, which takes approximately the same amount of time, you can travel on the A13 from Paris of the N176 then N177 from Caen to Deauville. Other options are to travel by bus or sea.

Staying Put

If you qualified for the EPT online, you will receive an email from PokerStars with your accommodation details. If you're looking to book on your own, you'll find that Deauville literally has more than a dozen options to choose from.

From the luxurious Hotel Du Golf Barriere to the marina-side Hotel Ibis Deauville Centre, the city's accommodations are both lavish and posh. Other hotels in the area include Hotel Helios, Hotel Du Patio, Hotel Le Chantilly, and La Vila Gardenia, though you can visit Deauville's official tourist website for a complete listing and further details.

You can also visit epthotels.com for more information.

Out and About

If you find yourself in need of some time away from the tables, Deauville has plenty to offer. Water sports, tennis, petanque, golf, horse riding, parachuting, and mechanical sports are just a few of the things offered in and around the city. The seaside resort also has a beautiful beach, though your visit will be during the offseason.

The city also has a rich history that is worth exploring. Speaking of history and beaches, just 18 miles from Deauville is Sword Beach, which was the code name of one of the five beaches in Operation Neptune, a phase of Operation Overlord. In other words, this was the 8 km beach the Allies invaded on June 6, 1944. If you're a history buff, this might be the place for you.

Also nearby you will find beautiful countryside, which is the main breeding region for horses in France; as such, Deauville has a rich horse culture and is home to two famous racetracks, Deauville la Touques and Clairefontaine. Unfortunately, these tracks will be out of commission during the EPT's stop as the tracks only operate during January, July, August, October, and December.

If you're looking for a night out on the town, there are plenty of first-rate night clubs to choose from such as Le Chic, Le Seven, Les Planches, and Brummel's Club. If the club atmosphere isn't your scene, you could always check out Rue de la Valle d'Auge's Bowling, featuring ten lanes, billiards, arch games, and a fast track.

Of course you could always stay put at the Casino Barriere, which offers plenty of other gaming and entertainment options than poker. For example, you can play roulette, blackjack, craps, Boule 2000, and more. There are also three restaurants on property (Plaza Café, Brummel, and Le Cercle), two bars (O2 Sofa Bar & Plaza), a gala lounge, a theater, and a cinema.

Full live coverage of EPT Deauville begins on PokerStars Blog on January 31, 2012, at 12.00pm local time.

Chad Holloway
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour