Estrellas Poker Tour announces dates for Season 6

To newcomers, the first experience of the Estrellas Poker Tour is not actually taking part, but finding yourself being accidentally swept along by it.

Take Barcelona for example. You stride up to the registration desk to play the EPT Main Event, only to find your way blocked by more than a thousand Estrellas enthusiasts who got there three days before you, turning a regional tour into one of the biggest in the world. You tend not to make the same mistake twice, and arrive early the following year yourself so as not to miss out.

That was the case in August when 2,560 players tested the Casino Barcelona floor staff's ability to squeeze tables and chairs into every available space for an event that baffled even the optimists with its popularity. Well, now we're happy to announce a new Season of the Estrellas, which will once more test the logistical confidence of casino staff across the region.

So here's how things will look for Season 6 of the tour. Remember these things re popular, so you might like to open another browser, check budget flights now and prepare to click "confirm".

It all kicks off in Madrid, with the first festival of the new season running from March 9-15, 2015, with a €1,000 Main Event starting on March 11. As before the action will be at the Casino Gran Madrid, which, as you approach it by road, shimmers like a glorious mirage on the horizon, inviting you never to leave.

casino_gran_madrid_10dec14.JPGCasino Gran Madrid

That's for starters. After Madrid follows Marbella in June, and then Barcelona in August, which last year set all those records that made it easier to list the names of professional players not playing it, than those who were.

For more details on each stop and the tour itself go to the Estrellas Poker Tour homepage

The best way to get to Madrid is by winning a package, and satellites offering various packages will start on this coming Sunday December 14, with a full schedule of satellites on coming in January 2015. You can also qualify via Players Choice.

So take this as your warning not to be swept away again. It promises to be another superlative season of enormous fields and enormous prize pools. Need proof? In the time it's taken to read this though, flights to Spain will probably be full* and engineers will already be assessing the possibility of knocking through casino walls to make additional room*. It's an event, and indeed a tour, that you cannot afford to miss.

* This is not true.
** This is also not true. They have plenty of space.

Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.