Going to the EPT London Festival? You might find this useful

Following the season opener in Barcelona the European Poker Tour now arrives at its second stop in the British capital London this week, with the United Kingdom and Ireland Poker Tour getting things started from tomorrow.


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We'll be previewing what in store at the festival later this week, but in the meantime the following information about how to register and where to find everything might save anyone intending to play some time or confusion. In the old days you'd cut this out and keep this stuff. But now keep it handy on your phone.

A few essential bits of information about the EPT11 Poker Festival

All UKIPT and EPT London tournaments throughout the festival are taking place at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London's Covent Garden. Meanwhile all cash games and cash registrations will be taking place at The Hippodrome Casino, in Leicester Square. These are two separate venues.

You can see the full EPT11 London Poker Festival schedule here.


What will you need?

You'll need to register for two different cards to play any of the UKIPT or EPT events. First you'll need a PS Live card (details of which can be found here). You can get one of these at the sign up desks situated in the Champagne Bar on the ground floor of the Connaught Rooms between 11am and 11pm.

You'll also need a Hippodrome Friends card, which is required under British gaming regulations (the tournaments at the Grand Connaught Rooms are taking place under The Hippodrome Casino licence, so these are the rules). You can get one of these at either the Hippodrome Casino or at any of the sign up desks at the Connaught Rooms, also in the Champagne Bar between 11am and 11pm.

The Hippodrome is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We suggest getting these cards as soon as you can to avoid any disappointment later on. Also, don't forget to bring a Photo I.D.


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london_hippodrome_friends_card_7oct14.jpgThese are the cards you'll need


Buying in

There are various ways you can buy into a tournament during the festival.

You can buy in from 5pm on the day before a tournament starts using cash,a debit card or a Friends at The Hippodrome account, by going to the Helliot Lounge on the first floor of the Hippodrome Casino.

You can also buy-in at the Grand Connaught Rooms using your Friends at the Hippodrome account*, or with a debit card from 5pm on the day before the tournament. Note that the Connaught Rooms open from 11am (10am on Days 1a and 1b of the UKIPT and EPT Main Events).

You can also buy-in online using your PokerStars account up until 9am on the day of the tournament you wish to play.

Then there's the "in person" option, from one hour before the tournament starts, using your PokerStars account, again open from 11am (10am on Days 1a and 1b).

*You can deposit funds into your Friends at The Hippodrome Card at The Hippodrome Casino and then use the card in the Grand Connaught Rooms to buy-into any tournament.
For information about all of these buy-in methods go to the EPT website.


How to do collect my ticket?

If you're a PokerStars player pre-registered for the Main Event (that's qualifiers and DBIs) you can collect your seating ticket from the PSLIVE sign-up pods.

If you're pre-registered for a side event, then you must collect your ticket from the Registration Room or Empire Room on the first floor at the Grand Connaught Rooms.
All other players must first sign up for a PSLive card, then proceed to the Registration Room, Empire Room on the first floor of the Grand Connaught Rooms.

We've also provided this flow chart to eliminate any last minute confusion.


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Click to enlarge


How far are the Connaught Rooms from the Hippodrome?

It's not far at all, and what's more it's pretty much a straight line. The distance between the two venues is about half a mile, which our map says will take you 12 minutes, while Google Maps says it will take you nine. Plan to split the difference.

So if you have a map handy (we've provided one below) you'll notice it's simply a walk down Long Acre and straight into Great Queen Street. Look out for the rather obvious PokerStars flags outside the Connaught Rooms.

But, if you'd prefer not to walk, PokerStars will be laying on a complimentary shuttle service between the Hippodrome and the Connaught to take any of the stress, or shoe leather, out of your journey. This will run daily between the two venues from 10am until 2am, from October 8 to 18.


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Click to enlarge

You can jump on board directly outside the Connaught Rooms or the Little Newport Street entrance to the Hippodrome.


To find the full schedule of events for the EPT London festival, which runs from October 8-18, click here.

That's pretty much all there is to know. You can also ask any member of staff at either venue for assistance. They'll be happy to help.

See you in London.


Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.