EPT13 Prague: Last ever EPT festival all set for this week
In a lot of ways this is the best time of year for the PokerStars Blog. The reason is pretty simple. As we speak our reporting team is packing for Prague, or at least thinking of getting the suitcase out of the attic in anticipation of packing, and the Czech is something of an unofficial favourite.
Sure, we like the others, but Prague is unique. It comes with built in Christmas cheer and an end of term feeling. With the Holidays fast approaching it's the event to sign off the year, enjoy some snow and mulled wine (not during work hour obviously - hear that guys, not during work hours), and one of the most busy festivals on the calendar. You can almost feel the warmth of a crackling log fire just reading this.
Of course this year there are some added connotations, it being the last ever European Poker Tour event. But for some reason we haven't really been thinking much about that.
While some might mourn the end of the EPT, we're not so sure it's entirely appropriate. It's getting a makeover, for sure, but all the same qualities that make places like Prague so memorable will remain. That includes a ridiculously long tournament schedule.
After 114 EPT events, this is probably familiar to you. But here's what to expect over 12 days in Prague:
A €5,300 EPT Main Event which already has 160 players registered
A €1,100 Eureka Main Event which already has 350 players registered
A Super High Roller event with the very best in the game set to pay €50,000 to play
A three day €10,000 High Roller event and a €25,000 single day high roller for those in a hurry.
As well as all that, an undercard of events to match every bankroll ensuring the tournament room is in operation almost around the clock.
It's for this reason that we won't be writing any official eulogies. We might reminisce from time to time, but not in any downcast way. Because frankly we know what's coming next, and it's too good to have any reason not to celebrate.
"The large number of tournaments on offer shows our commitment to cater for as many players as possible," said Edgar Stuchly, PokerStars' Director of Live Events. "We're looking forward to welcoming thousands of players to Prague before our next destination in January, the debut of PokerStars Championship, which takes place in the Bahamas. We'll be back in Europe after that for the PokerStars Festival London stop."
January will mark the start of that transformation, and we can't wait for it to get started. But first we're going to enjoy EPT Prague, and the poker that comes with it. It all starts this week, with the €10K hold'em event on Thursday evening. The blog will be courtside from the first hand, all the way through to the final day of the Tour on Monday December 19.
It'll be a great send off, not only for 2016 but the Tour itself, with activities away from the tables, as well as a player party to provide literal as well as metaphoric holiday spirit.
For all the details of the Prague festival check out the EPT homepage.
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Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog. Follow him on Twitter: @StephenBartley.