After the completion of one of the best festivals in recent memory, the World Series of Poker is not sitting back on its laurels. With the completion of its move to the Las Vegas Strip for the 2022 WSOP, the attention of the organization now has turned towards the European continent. We now know the dates that the WSOP-Europe will be held, and it will return to a familiar ground that the world has not graced since 2019.
King’s Casino Plays Host Starting October 26
Rozvadov, Czech Republic, will once again play host to the 2022 WSOP-E. Although the venue has played host to the event since 2017, the last two years have been impacted by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the tournament was not held and, in 2021, it was impacted by curfews implemented amid a rise in COVID cases. This time around, there will be a contingent of U. S. and “rest of the world” players who will make the journey to Rozvadov for action.
The 2022 WSOP-E will begin on October 26, with a 15-tournament roster set for the players. Up first for the festival will be “The Opener,” a €350 No Limit Hold’em tournament with a €500,000 guaranteed prize pool. Each event has a guaranteed prize pool ranging from €100,000 to the €5 million guaranteed “Main Event,” which begins on November 11.
“We’re very excited to host the biggest and most prestigious tournament series with the biggest guarantees in Europe without any limitations and struggles of the past two years. Finally, also travel restrictions for players coming from the US have been lifted,” said King’s Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik during the announcement of the schedule. “We’re all set to deliver first-class service and hospitality for all poker players at King’s.”
Players being able to gather once again on the European stage was important to Ty Stewart, the Executive Director of the WSOP, also. “The World Series of Poker is ready to go international once again,” Stewart mentioned alongside Tsoukernik. “Poker is bigger than ever and there has been a recent run of international champions in our Main Events. We’re excited to bring the once-in-a-lifetime poker experiences of the WSOP-C and WSOP Europe back to transcontinental players.”
Along with the announcement of the 2022 WSOP-E schedule, the roster of locations for the international World Series of Poker Circuit was unveiled. The first stop is September 21 at King’s Casino, with Aruba, Monterey, Mexico, Uruguay, and Canada (among others) receiving the call to host WSOP-C tournaments. The schedule for these and for the WSOP-E can be found at WSOP.com.
Exciting History of WSOP-E Tournaments
The WSOP-E has had a long history of exciting and groundbreaking tournaments. The very first WSOP-E was the “coming out” party for one of the legends of online poker, Annette Obrestad. At the inaugural WSOP-E in London in 2007, “Annette_15” stunned the poker world by winning the Main Event a day before her 19th birthday.
John Juanda won his fourth WSOP bracelet (bracelets won at the WSOP-E are counted on the official bracelet totals) in 2009, it was Barry Shulman who earned his second WSOP bracelet, while runner up Daniel Negreanu became the all-time leading money winner in WSOP history with his second-place finish. 2010 would see the first English victor of the event, James Bord, but it would be a bittersweet victory for the British as the WSOP-E moved locations the next year.
The first WSOP-E held outside London was in Cannes, France, which saw a thrilling battle in the Main Event between Elio Fox and Chris Moorman, with Fox emerging as the champion. The next two years would see the WSOP-E contested in France, with Phil Hellmuth making history with his 16th bracelet victory in 2012; he is, to this date, the only player to have won the WSOP Championship Event in Las Vegas and the WSOP-E Main Event title.
In 2014, the WSOP decided on a short-lived experiment. The WSOP added the World Series of Poker Asia/Pacific that year and decided to alternate the two tournament schedules. Thus, the WSOP-E was not contested in 2014 or 2016 (the WSOP-Asia/Pacific was dropped after disappointing numbers for the 2016 event). The WSOP also decided on a move again for the WSOP-E, sending it to Berlin, Germany for the 2015 event that featured Kevin MacPhee’s Main Event victory.
Since 2017, the WSOP-E has settled into King’s Casino and brought huge crowds to the felt (save for the COVID years). Marti Roca de Torres, Jack Sinclair, and Alexandros Kolonias won the Europe Main Event in subsequent years before COVID shut the WSOP-E down in 2020. King’s Casino was used, however, as the “international” hub of the “hybrid” 2020 WSOP Championship tournament, sending Damian Salas to Las Vegas to play (and defeat) Joseph Hebert for what is called the “world championship” of 2020 (Stoyan Madanzhiev won what was thought to be the “WSOP Main Event” online earlier that year).
In 2021, many “rest of the world” players were unable to travel to the European continent, with COVID restrictions impacting the player numbers. The tournament still had 15 events (up from the original three tournaments back in 2007) and featured a 688-player field for the Main Event. For the first time, a Czech was crowned the champion when Josef Gulas took the bracelet in defeating France’s Johan Guilbert. At this time, it is unknown whether Gulas will be back to defend his title.
There was a great deal of excitement for the 2022 WSOP in Las Vegas, and it is possible that there is just as much excitement “across the pond” for the full-throated return of the 2022 WSOP-E. For more details on the schedule or to look up the WSOP-C International information, visit the WSOP website.