Goodbye EPT5 months ago
All great things must come to an end, they say, and for the European Poker Tour that end has arrived after 13 glorious years. The future is unwritten as we know, but for so many players and fans it is the end of an era, so let’s look at some of the most amazing moments from its history…
2004 John Duthie kicks it all off
It’s impossible to put a value on the man who kicked things off back in 2004 when the poker boom hit. Without the Irishman’s tireless work ethic and vision we would never have seen what followed, so raise a glass of festive cheer to John Duthie please!
2006 Vicky Coren on the double
When season 3 got underway, the majority of people expected the big names to predominate, which at that time meant… men! Pascal Perrault, Mark Teltscher and Patrik Antonius had already taken down EPT Main Events, the prize-money was getting significantly higher and the fields tougher, and then…Victoria Coren appeared!
A breath of fresh air to the game, Coren charmed and talked and skilled her way to the London title, a home soil victory which launched her into the big time – and when she took down EPT San Remo in 2014, she ensured the distinction of being the only double-EPT winner in the history books!
2008 Jason Mercier Storms the world
He’s made umpteen millions since and is a household name, but Mercier’s breakout win in San Remo is still his favorite victory by far, propelling him on a trajectory which would take him to the very top of the poker ladder.
His hero call at the final table against Koskas is the stuff of legends, Mercier stating last year:
"There's a lot of little things in poker where if one hand doesn't happen a certain way, your whole career changes. I think that was a really pivotal point for me to make that call, win that hand and go on to win the tournament.”
2010 Berlin Robbery shocks the EPT
Poker will always attract a small amount of dubious people and dodgy incidents, but nothing could have prepared the EPT for the day that four armed and masked men stormed the Grand Hyatt Hotel and escaped with €1/4million!
Caught on the live webcast for all the world to see, it was the scariest moment in EPT history – although thankfully no-one was seriously hurt. The robbers were subsequently captured and jailed and Kevin McPhee got his €1million for taking down the Main Event – so all’s well that ends well!
2016 Farewell to all that!
"The European Poker Tour (EPT) was outgrowing its borders,” said PS officials and as Lee Davy so sweetly put it: “PokerStars officials have chopped the EPT in half.”
Of the new plans to revamp the tour, he wrote:
"The PokerStars Championships will cater for the professionals and lucky bar stewards who managed to qualify for the bigger buy-in events via online or live satellite qualification. The PokerStars Festivals will mop up the saliva drooling from the lips of the recreational players.”
So, 13 years of fantastic action, amazing stories and incredible people has ended. Will the new Championships and Festivals – flung further afield around the globe – be able to recreate that atmosphere? Or will it just be another big tour with no individual qualities?
I don’t know, but I do know I will miss the EPT, the televised highlights being what got me into serious poker back in 2006 when a fresh-faced 19 year old named Jeff Williams took down the Grand Final in Monte Carlo for €900,000.
Will anyone be saying such things 10 years from now? I somehow doubt it, and that makes me sad.
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