Smashing records

The European Poker Tour is ending 2022 with a bang, as poker players are flocking to EPT Prague. After registration closed on the EPT Prague Main Event this afternoon, the official number of entrants was listed at 1,267, a new record for the tournament and the first time the field broke the 1,200-entry mark.

Day 1A saw 402 entries, Day 1B attracted 825, and another 40 players signed up on Day 2 before registration closed. Of the 1,267 entries, 349 were re-entries. Just two entries were allowed per person across both of this week’s starting flights. That’s one original entry and one re-entry.

The prize pool, as one might expect, is also the largest in the history of the EPT Prague Main Event: €6,114,950. First prize is €1,054,500 and 183 will make the money.

“I want to say, from everyone, ‘Thank you to all the players,’” said head of live events at PokerStars Cédric Billot on the PokerStars blog. “Thank you for trusting our brand, for coming to play our events all year long.

“It was not an easy year,” he added, “because of Covid at the beginning of the year, but we could see the trend, from Prague in March, which was already a success, and now in December. Even though we have some competition, to see the numbers increase, for us it’s just amazing to see that players love to come to our events.”

Popular tournaments all around

This Prague stop has been a resounding success for other tournaments and tours, as well. The Eureka Tour, a poker tour that focuses on Central and Eastern Europe, drew 4,017 entries for its Main Event, a new record. The Eureka High Roller bested its record by about a third.

PokerStars sees the record numbers as an excellent sign for the poker economy. That may sound like an obvious statement, as yeah, high turnout is good, but Billot makes the point that there has been fantastic turnout at all buy-in levels.

“The numbers mean that the poker economy is doing well for all kind of buy-ins,” he said.

“I think the Eureka Cup, the €400 buy-in, was also an amazing turnout. Low buy-ins are working amazing, and also high buy-ins are getting better and better.”

Billot also said that PokerStars also focuses on making the poker festival experience a fun and rewarding one for players of all skill levels and bankrolls.

He isn’t thrilled that the World Poker Tour is holding the WPT World Championship in Las Vegas at the same time as EPT Prague, making players choose between the two, but he also understands that things like that will happen sometimes.

“With the World Poker Tour and the World Series, we try to communicate, and to agree not to clash when we can. But the calendar has been incredibly busy and much as we try, we cannot always find a solution to not clash. We have hotel commitments and it’s the same for them,” Billot explained.

“But we deal with it, and we make sure that our experience is amazing, to make sure that players will still remember that EPT Prague is the place to go in December.”

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