The 13th season of the European Poker Tour is currently underway and Head of Live Operations, Neil Johnson, outlines some changes including payouts, PLO High Rollers, and the introduction of casino games.
What started out as a eureka moment in John Duthie’s bathtub has fast become the most attended live poker tournament festival outside of the World Series of Poker (WSOP).
I am, of course, talking about the European Poker Tour (EPT) and Season 13 has recently kicked off in the favorite stop of all: Barcelona.
So what’s new?
Neil Johnson, PokerStars top live action man, has written a post on the PokerStars blog explaining what new surprises we can expect to find this season.
The biggest change surrounds the EPT payout structure.
PokerStars has caused a bit of a stir in the last 12-months with their move towards favouring the online recreational players and it seems that are being consistent with their live product.
For the past three seasons the EPT has paid out 15% of the field, and that will now change to 20%. A little money will be skimmed off the top so that more people can cash, giving them more juice to compete in more events. The changes now mean the min-cash will drop from 1.7x your buy-in to 1x -1.2x.
The focus isn’t entirely on the recreational players. The high stakes players who like a spot of Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) will be happy with the introduction of a €10,000 PLO High Roller. Johnson explains that the idea was born after finding a spot in the 2017 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) for a €25,000 PLO High Roller, and thought why not include a PLO HR in all EPT festivals.
Finally, PokerStars will continue to provide gaming options away from the felt in Season 13. Chess will continue to be an option, Backgammon will also make an appearance, and the Amaya guiding hand will be felt as PokerStars teams up with their casino partners to push people towards blackjack, roulette, and video slot machines.
And everything seemed ok up until that point.
EPT Barcelona runs between August 16-28. The €1,100 Estrellas Main Event is currently underway with a large field expected. The €10,300 Single Day High Roller is also in progress. The €5,300 EPT Main Event starts Aug 22.