Malta to become newest festival on the European Poker Tour

Have you ever noticed that a lot of live event reports on the PokerStars Blog feature the expression "on the shores of the Mediterranean"?

It happened again this week during the France Poker Series in Cannes, which brought to mind EPT Sanremo and the EPT Grand Final in Monaco (we sometimes mix in the expression "shores of the Riviera" to keep things fresh), and of course EPT Barcelona.

But we can't really help it. And guess what? Another event now qualifies. A brand new stop not just on the shores of the Mediterranean but slap bang in the middle of it, now added to the season 11 schedule - EPT Malta.

ept_malta_hotel_9oct14.jpgIntroducing EPT Malta

Today PokerStars proudly announced this new addition to the Tour and the first event of its kind on the beautiful Mediterranean island, taking place March 18-28.

Malta is already home to a large poker community, many exiles having chosen Malta for a variety of reasons, not least because English is spoken, and because the climate is one of the most tranquil in all of Europe. It should prove a great draw for players from around the world.


The EPT Malta festival will take place in the seaside resort of St Julians', and will feature more than 40 tournaments played in the popular Portomaso Casino. It's a venue that has previously hosted Italian Poker Tour events as well as PokerStars sponsored Swedish and Finnish Championships. Now it will be stepping up.

The highlight of the 11 days festival will be the €5,300 Main Event, as well as a €1,100 IPT Main Event. EPT-run cash games will also be offered as well as the now standard array of side events in all conceivable disciplines.

hilton_casino_malta_9oct14.jpgPortomaso Casino will be the venue for EPT Malta

"After discussions with players and fellow colleagues, we decided that it was time to add a fresh and exciting stop to the EPT schedule," said Edgar Stuchly, EPT President. "Malta is a great destination for an EPT and we expect strong participation numbers. With excellent connections to all major European cities, a warm Mediterranean climate, delicious local cuisine and lots of great tourist activities, Malta is the perfect place for players to come with their friends and family next spring."

Michael Holmberg, PokerStars General Manager in Malta, added his endorsement:

"Malta is where is based, so we are very happy to bring the EPT home to what is the perfect combination of a 24/7 poker offering as well as the chance to escape the grind and discover everything that Malta has to offer."

Eros Ganzina, General Manager of Portomaso Casino, said: "We are delighted and proud to announce our new collaboration with PokerStars and the EPT. Malta is renowned as a very popular poker destination and in the last five years Portomaso Casino has proved to be more than capable of hosting large scale events. The EPT is obviously a landmark for us and we are looking forward to hosting such a prestigious tournament. We are positive that poker players will enjoy the new EPT destination."

In addition to the action on the tables, there will be gripping action away from it. The 14th edition of the GPI European Poker Awards will be staged on March 25, switching from Deauville where last year's ceremony took place, won by Ole Schemion of Germany who was crowned European Player of the Year.

EPT Malta satellites will run daily on PokerStars from as little as €1.10 or 50 FPPs so you can book your Spring Break at poker's newest destination. For more information, go to the EPT website

And so we head to the shores of the Mediterranean once more. We might say it a lot but then, what's not to like about that?

Find details about this new addition to the European Poker Tour on the EPT website. Meanwhile the next stop is in London, starting this Sunday, with full coverage available on the PokerStars Blog.

Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.