PokerStars’ inaugural online European Poker Tour (EPT) continues to impress and, after nine days of action, the main event is underway.
Don Johan, Mysters_Y, Ssick_OnE, and Fish2013 have all emerged victorious in recent days. However, with the promise of a $5 million guarantee, all eyes are now fixed on the $5,200 EPT Online Main Event.
Day 1 took place on Sunday. Registration remains open until the start of Day 2 and players can re-enter twice before the proverbial doors close. With plenty of time left before that happens, more than 1,100 buy-ins have been collected.
Poker’s Elite Flock to Stars
With the masses flooding in, the EPT Online Main Event’s guarantee has already been broken. Even without the final number being confirmed, those left in the mix will be playing for a share of at least $5.9 million.
Leading the charge ahead of the restart is PokerStars Ambassador Fintan Hand. Playing under the screenname “easywithaces,” Hand bagged just short of 3 million chips to finish ahead of DingeBrinker and P0KERPR02.0.
Also finishing within the top-10 stacks on Day 1 were PokerStars Ambassador Ramon Colillas and Event #5 winner, Ssick_OnE.
Today couldn't have gone better in Day 1 of the @PokerStars EPT Main.
I had a little bit of a 2 day hangover.
TOMORROW I'M COMING FRESH AND THEY'VE NO CHANCE!https://t.co/BAfr4oIp8E
— Fintan Hand (@EasyWithAces) November 16, 2020
Play will resume today with 352 survivors from Day 1 and anyone else who decides to take advantage of the late registration period. This means there’s a long way to go for Hand and those among the top stacks.
A look through some of the players still in the mix reveals names like Mike Watson, Lex Veldhuis, Sam Grafton, and Chris Oliver. Between some stiff competition and a top prize that could reach $1 million, the route to the final table will be anything but smooth for Hand, or anyone else for that matter.
EPT Online Looking Strong
For those who fall short in the EPT Online Main Event, there are two more chances to climb atop of the winner’s rostrum. The $530 No-Limit Hold’em 8-Max will take place on Nov. 16 before the $1,050 Last Chance signals the beginning of the end on Nov. 17.
When the final chips fall, PokerStars’ tournament team will hail the EPT Online as a success. Although everyone would have preferred to compete in a live venue somewhere, COVID-19 restrictions have made it virtually impossible.
Taking the tour online was the next best thing given how other events have played out this year. Indeed, with the WSOP and WPT enjoying success in the digital arena, it made sense to create an online version of the EPT.
With many parts of Europe, including the UK and Germany, introducing fresh lockdown measures in November, the time was right to make a move.
Guarantees for almost every event have been beaten. Therefore, we could see more online EPTs if COVID-19 restrictions continue to disrupt live events in 2021.