PokerStars Head of Live Poker Operations, Neil Johnson, has revealed a series of changing to the twelfth iteration of the European Poker Tour including changing the first card off the deck rule, introducing new chips and tables, and more.
The European Poker Tour is back (nearly) and Neil Johnson, Head of Live Poker Operations for PokerStars, has dipped his quill in ink and painted the Stars blog with some interesting changes.
John Duthie created the first snowball when he had a bath time Eureka moment back in 2004. People like Johnson are now rolling it down the Alps. It started small. It’s become huge. It’s about to get even bigger.
EPT11 broke all of the records: 7 festivals, 375 events, 66,000+ entrants and more than €139,000,000 in prize money doled out.
“We plan to break them all over again this season,” wrote Johnson.
First the news that most people were aware of. It’s ‘bon voyage’ to Deauville, and ‘tarrah’ to London. The highly successful debut in Malta ensures a return, and Dublin is once again added to the schedule after an omission of eight years.
That leaves one more festival; a secret. One that Johnson was not prepared to let out of the bag. “I could tell you where, but I’d never be allowed to blog again.” I am going to go out on a limb and say it will be Amsterdam. There will be some agreement reached with the Holland Casino and players will be able to visit the wonderful museums the city has to offer.
Onto the changes:
EPT12 will see the introduction of a new set of chips, and new tables. The new tables will come equipped with a USB connection at each seat. All players have to do is bring their own chords. There are people in the world that can move prosthetic limbs with their mind. It’s good to see a poker organization getting the basics sorted.
“They are fantastic,” wrote Johnson.
Stars will also introduce the same four-color decks that you are used to playing with online. They will be used as a trial in Malta to see how players like the feel of them. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) should have done likewise at a Circuit event before dropping Modiano decks onto the tables of the world’s most prestigious event this summer. They put their hand out, and the players smacked it hard with a ruler. The EPT won’t make the same mistake.
From a gaming point of view Johnson explained that the €1k non-NLH Championship events weren’t the success they were hoping for. The tentacles of Johnson’s mind closed around the idea and he has inserted slots for €5,000 and €500 non-NLH events at all festivals.
There will also be a ton of new games joining the side event rosters. Titles like Sextuple Omaha, Quintuple Stud, Quintuple Draw, Splitsville Dealer’s Choice, High Hand Hold’em, All-in or Fold (in games other than Hold’em), Big Bet Mix and Dealer’s Choice HORSE will get everyone thinking.
The High Rollers and Super High Roller schedules have changed:
• All festivals will have a three day HR/SHR that will end on Day 1A of the Main Event.
• All festivals will have a single day HR/SJR taking place on Day 1B of the Main Event.
• Traditional three-day 10K or 25k events that take place later in the Main Event structure have not changed.
In Johnson’s own words: “Below is a short breakdown of which stops have which buy-ins going across from 3-day event, to 1 day, to 3 day.”
25K – 10K – 10K – Malta, Dublin, TBC
50K – 25K – 10K – Barcelona, Prague
100K – 50K – 25K – PCA, Monaco
All EPT12 rebuy events will be cashless. EPT cash chips or casino chips (dependent on venue) will be used for rebuys and add-ons. The only exception is Prague where the casino chips are in Czech Crown.
Johnson didn’t have a great deal to report on structural changes. The High Roller will see the double level of 25/150/300 change to a 25/150/300 & a 50/250/500 level. For all other information on structures he refers you to the EPT App.
There are also some important rule changes to take note of. The EPT will align with the Tournament Directors Association (TDA) by introducing the rule where your hand is declared dead if you are not at your seat when the last card is delivered to the button. Players should be happy with that change.
Player’s will also be delighted to note that you won’t have poker player’s trying to be amateur Steven Spielberg’s. In your face phone apps like Periscope, Meerkat and Nomadcast are banned at the table. Laptops can be used at the table. Power chords are not. And your electronic devices are allowed on the rail, but not on the table.
Finally, VPP’s are not going to be credited to players who buy-in with their real money taken from their online account, players can now keep their winnings in their PSLive account for use at future events, and online satellite winners and players who directly buy-in into events, can ‘only take up to double the buy-in of the tournament they received a prize in in cash. All remaining funds must be returned to your PokerStars account.’
EPT12 begins in Barcelona Aug 18-30.