The provisional European Poker Tour Season 10 schedule had Berlin marked down for the month of March, but this morning PokerStars announced that the tour would skip Germany this year. EPT Vienna will take place from March 19-29 in the stunning Hofburg Palace.
The Hofburg Palace is a former imperial residence in the center of the city where poker players will play in a royal setting. The host of the tournament, Concord Casino group, operates 13 poker rooms across Austria and has more than 20 years of experience.
EPT President Edgar Stuchly, formerly Head of Poker at Casino Austria and Austrian native, said the following about the new EPT venue.
“Due to a unique opportunity in Vienna, we have decided to change the location of the sixth EPT stop this year. The Hofburg Palace is a spectacular venue with a grand history, and moving the EPT there enables us to offer a great player experience. The venue can fit over 100 tables and we will be able to provide an amazing tournament schedule with a wide variety of games including cash games in the Hofburg.”
The EPT in Austria
Austria has a long poker history on the EPT, as the sixth ever event was hosted there. Frenchman Pascal Perrault won the Season 1 Vienna stop after beating a field of 297 and he walked away with €184,500.
During the second season of the EPT there was an event in the Monte Carlo of Austria, Baden. One of the best players in the world, Patrik Antonius, notched up a breakthrough victory as he took down that event for €288,180. Baden was last featured on the EPT in Season 4 and after a one-year hiatus EPT Snowfest was introduced in Season 6.
Two Years in the Snow
Snowfest, in the winter holiday destination Saalbach Hinterglemm, proved to be a perfect destination for those who like to practice their skills on the slopes. The Snowfest event had a short lifespan as Vladimir Geshkenbein took down the second and last event in the Austrian mountains in Season 7.
Interestingly enough there were two EPT stops during the seventh EPT season as Vienna made it back to the calendar for the first time since Season 1. Michael Eiler defeated a field of 587 players and took home the €700,000 first-place prize. Eiler kept Canadian poker super star and current WSOP Player of the Year Daniel Negreanu from winning his first EPT title. Negreanu finished fifth in this event for €175,000.
Since Season 7 (2010) there has not been an EPT stop in Austria.
A Numbers Game
The early EPT seasons can’t be compared to the current state of the biggest poker tour in the world. It is however fair to look at the recent seasons and that shows us the following.
EPT Vienna in Season 7 drew a crowd of 587 players that all put up €5,300. Of those 587 there were 145 PokerStars qualifiers. Vienna replaces Berlin on the poker calendar, the event that had 773 participants in 2010 with the same exact buy in. In 2010 Berlin had 160 PokerStars Qualifiers.
In Season 8 Campione was hosted during the same week as Vienna is now, and that event, won by Jannick Wrang for €640,000, drew a crowd of 570 and interestingly enough just 87 PokerStars qualifiers. In the press release PokerStars sent out this morning it states the following about their expectations and buy-ins.
“Season 10’s Vienna event is expected to attract over 1,000 players to the Austrian capital and will offer a wide variety of events, so there is something for every type of player. The schedule will follow the standard Season 10 EPT festival format with tournaments in a variety of buy-in levels including a €5,300 Main Event and €10,300 High Roller.”
Side note: Berlin was the last stop before the EPT Grand Final in Seasons 8 and 9 as opposed to that being San Remo in previous years. This year Vienna falls in between Deauville and San Remo filling up that big gap.
A city with the allure of Vienna should draw a big crowd and for now it doesn’t seem to be clashing with other events of the same magnitude. The WSOP Circuit event at the Bicycle Casino goes until March 17, the popular Bay 101 Shooting Star Classic runs from March 10-14 and on the other side of the world the ANZPT Sydney takes place from March 12-24. Even if you’re playing the WPT Regional event in Florida from March 13-16 you can still make it on time.
The Vienna Main Event dates have not been announced but it can be assumed it will run from March 23-29. This means it clashes somewhat with the WSOP Circuit event in Cleveland (March 20-31) and the Jacksonville BestBet Open (March 21-25).
Important Tournament info
Dress code: Smart casual. No shorts. Sneaker/trainers accepted.
The EPT Season 10 tournament structures can be found right here. If you win a full package hotel reservations will be made for you by PokerStars. For all other players click here for all the hotel info fo Vienna. The full tournament schedule is yet to be announced.