Partypoker’s live tournament series is now in the hands of John Duthie, the creator of the European Poker Tour (EPT) television program. The British director brings plenty of experience to his new role, including a strong personal tournament poker performance track record, which, according to Hendon Mob, is at $2,796,223 for event cashes.
With PokerStars altering its live tournament schedule last year, partypoker has been quick to jump on a potential gap in the market. As part of its ongoing evolution under Amaya, PokerStars did away with individual tours like the EPT, Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) and Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) in 2016.
Wanting to consolidate its assets and have two clearly defined lines between “high stakes” and “recreational” live events, PokerStars created Championships and Festivals. The new, more compact schedule has since inspired other operators to make some moves and partypoker has risen to the challenge.
Millions and Millions
Announcing the creation of its LIVE series at the start of 2017, partypoker now plans to host a series of big money tournaments around the world. First to be announced was the partypoker Millions and the partypoker Million North America.
Taking place inside the UK’s Dusk Till Dawn (April 18) and Canada’s Playground Poker Club (May 5) respectively, the two festivals will feature main events offering seven-figure guaranteed prizepools. To ensure the name “Million” rings true, the tournaments will carry top prizes of £1 million ($1.25 million) and CAD$1 million ($768,000).
With more events announced since and additional stops still to be added, partypoker has drafted in Duthie to oversee the tour. Having been the original driving force behind the EPT, Duthie may be the man to make partypoker LIVE as much of a hit as his previous concept.
Bringing the Tour to Life
Duthie helped set up the EPT in 2004, after seeing a need for a European poker event that could be televised. With a background as a TV producer, Duthie wanted the tour to appeal to both players and viewers. The end result was a selection of high stakes tournaments packed into a schedule that played out over a week or so.
With different cities hosting each event, the tour attracted interest from players around Europe and, combined with broadcasts on stations such as Channel 4 in the UK, made the EPT a hit. It soon become a transatlantic alternative to the World Poker Tour (WPT), which was typically dominated by American pros.
As the EPT grew, PokerStars took control in 2011, and in 2012, Duthie left. As president of partypoker LIVE, Duthie will now be in charge of growing the brand and, in his words, making it a tour that listens to and works with the poker community.
According to Tom Waters, managing director of partypoker, the aim of LIVE is to provide” value” for players and invest money in the overall experience, rather than “outside” of the game. Waters believes Duthie is the man to facilitate this and, in the process, make partypoker LIVE as popular as the EPT was.
- Partypoker LIVE Upcoming Schedule
- Mar 23-27 – $1,100 partypoker Million Sochi (Sochi Casino & Resort) $1M GTE
- Apr 6-10 – €225/$243 partypoker Grand Prix Austria (CCC Montesino) €500,000/$540,000 GTE
- Apr 18-23 -£5,300/$6,600 partypoker MILLIONS (Dusk Till Dawn) £6 million/$7.5 million GTE
- Apr 25-May 1 – CAD$220/$169 partypoker Grand Prix Canada (Playground Poker Club) CAD$500,000/$385,000 GTE
- Apr 27-May 1 – €225/$243 partypoker Grand Prix Germany (King’s Casino) €500,000/$540,000 GTE
- May 5-10 – CAD$5,300/$4,000 partypoker Million North America (Playground Poker Club)CAD$5 million/$3.8 million GTE
- Jun 1-5 – €1,100/$1,180 partypoker Million Germany (King’s Casino) €1 million/$1 million GTE