WSOP Europe to Switch Venues

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After a two year run in Cannes, France, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Europe is moving for the second time. Unlike the last move, which saw the WSOP Europe change countries, this one will keep the tournament series in France as it settles into its new home at the Casino Barrière Enghien-les-Bains just outside Paris.

Enghien-les-Bains is approximately 13.5 kilometers (8.4 miles) north of the center of Paris. It is a very affluent suburb housing 12,324 people, best known as a spa resort. In fact, the commune’s name literally translates to “Enghien Spa.”

The casino itself is an impressive structure blending classic and modern architecture located on Lac (Lake) d’Enghien. The facilities are large enough to allow all tournaments to be played in a single room, with a 500 seat theatre available to host final tables. It is one of 14 casinos in France operated by Lucien Barrière Hôtels & Casinos. That same company also operates, the headline sponsor of the World Series of Poker Europe.

“Part of our vision for WSOP Europe is to mix poker and pleasure – and introduce players to some of the most exciting destinations in Europe,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart in a press release.  “Barrière’s facilities in Enghien are amazing and there are likely 12 million Parisians all trying to make sure ‘Phillipe’ Hellmuth doesn’t win another bracelet on French soil.  With our ideal dates scheduled to avoid conflicts for traveling players, expanded TV coverage and qualifiers planned, we expect to be back in record-setting mode in 2013.”

The 2013 WSOP Europe will run from October 11-24 and while the exact schedule of events has yet to be announced, it is expected that it will consist of seven bracelet events plus a high rollers event. As usual, it concludes with the €10,000 Main Event.

WSOP Europe debuted in 2007, the first time any World Series of Poker events were held outside of the United States. The first four iterations of WSOP Europe were held in London at the Casino at the Empire, part of the London Clubs International group of casinos, purchased in 2006 by Harrah’s (now called Caesars Entertainment). In 2011, WSOP Europe moved to Cannes, France and both the Hôtel Majestic Barrière and Le Croisette Casino Barrière, where it stayed through this year.

Though its tenure has been short and it does not have nearly the same number of tournaments as its big brother in Las Vegas, the WSOP Europe has seen its share of history. Right off the bat, Annette “Annette_15” Obrestad won the 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event, not only becoming one of the few females to ever win an open event at the World Series of Poker, but also becoming the youngest bracelet winner of all-time, winning the tournament just a day shy of her 19th birthday. This year, Phil Hellmuth won the Main Event and over €1,000,000, picking up his record 13th bracelet just months after his then-record 12th bracelet.

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