PokerStars has announced new dates for EPT Prague, just a week after COVID restrictions forced it to postpone its December festival. In addition to organizing the new event, PokerStars is also compensating players and staff affected by the last-minute change.
The festivals will run from March 5 to 16, 2022, at King’s Casino Prague, which is located inside the Hilton Hotel. The schedule hasn’t been announced, but Severin Rasset, Managing Director and Commercial Officer of Poker at PokerStars, said the festival will offer the same events that were due to take place this month.
That means players will be able to take part in a variety of mid-stakes MTTs, super high rollers, and a €5,300 ($5,950) main event. But, as is the case with all live poker events right now, the dates are subject to change based on COVID restrictions in the Czech Republic.
Czech COVID rules stop play, but PokerStars looks ahead
COVID restrictions were ramped up in the Czech Republic, as well as in other European countries, at the end of November. Despite mandating facemasks in public settings and making vaccine passes and COVID tests a condition of entry to certain venues, case numbers have risen dramatically over the last three weeks.
Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech declared a state of emergency on November 25, ushering in new restrictions, including capacity limits and early closing times for public venues. King’s Resort Rozvadov was forced to adjust the WSOPE schedule in response to the new rules.
PokerStars and King’s Resort’s sister casino in Prague decided to postpone the EPT rather than work around the situation. That series will now take place in March, but PokerStars is making sure no one is left feeling short-changed by giving $100,000 to all the members of staff affected by the postponement. This means dealers, tournament officials, casino staff, and anyone else who was scheduled to work at EPT Prague in December will receive some compensation.
Online offering replaces EPT Prague, for now
While the live Prague event won’t be going off as originally planned, players will have something to keep them entertained heading into the holiday season. In fact, the $100,000 PokerStars is giving to tournament staff will come from an online EPT.
Although it won’t be quite the same, the digital replacement for EPT Prague will feature 68 tournaments and a $17 million guarantee. The series will run from Dec. 8 to 19 on PokerStars.com, which means it’s open to players around the world who aren’t in ring-fenced countries.
A $5,200 Main Event tops the bill, but PokerStars is ensuring there’s something for everyone to play for, with MTTs starting at $5.50. Some of the standout events for EPT Online are:
- $11 EPT Online Cup Mini with $150,000 guaranteed
- $55 Mini Main Event with $1,000,000 guaranteed
- $5,200 EPT Main Event with $1,500,000 guaranteed
- $1,050 The Return of Arena Championship with $1,000,000 guaranteed
- $10,300 Sunday Super High Roller with $1,000,000 guaranteed
Assuming the Czech Republic doesn’t impose further restrictions in 2022, the online series should provide a timely prelude to EPT Prague in March.