[toc]On Wednesday, PokerStars announced the European Poker Tour (EPT) brand, along with the myriad of smaller regional tours the company operates, would be retired in 2017. In their stead will be a pair of global live event initiatives, PokerStars Championship events and PokerStars Festival events.
The news has the poker community buzzing.
This shouldn’t be too surprising, considering the EPT has been a staple of European poker for 13 seasons, with the tour crowning more than 100 champions and acting as the launching pad for many successful poker careers.
But the announcement of the newly-branded PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival events wasn’t the only bit of news contained in the press release.
PokerStars revealed more details about its upcoming tournament series at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, which can lay claim to being the first tournament series that boasts the PokerStars Festival brand. The event was first announced during the company’s recent earnings call.
PokerStars Festival New Jersey 2016
Beginning on Oct. 29, PokerStars, and its New Jersey online gambling partner, Resorts, will host the first week-long festival at Resorts Casino — the PokerStars Festival New Jersey 2016.
Here are the key events:
- PokerStars Cup – Oct. 30-31 ($300+$40)
- PokerStars Festival Main Event – Nov. 1-5 ($1,000+$100)
- PokerStars Festival National High Roller – Nov. 4-5 ($2,000 + $200)
- PokerStars Open – Nov. 4-6 ($200+$30)
A true festival
Poker players get giddy when a PokerStars tour rolls into town, but PokerStars Championship and Festival events aren’t your father’s poker tournament series. These are going to be festivals in every sense of the word, and will appeal to poker players and casino-goers alike.
In addition to lots and lots of poker tournaments (PokerStars Festival New Jersey will feature 50 poker tournaments over the course of a week, and championship events will have upwards of 100 tournaments) PokerStars will also host a number of non-tournament events.
During the festival, PokerStars and Resorts will run blackjack, video poker, slots and roulette tournaments, which could serve to bridge the gap between the clientele in the poker room and the casino floor writ large.
There will also be a dedicated StarsFun skills zone area inside the Atlantic Ballroom from Oct. 31-Nov. 4. The StarsFun area will feature free-to-play games like table tennis, air hockey, foosball, cornhole and darts, along with several contests that carry cash prizes:
- Miniature Golf Hole-in-One Progressive
- Hoops Fever Progressive
- Pinball Progressive
Towards the end of the festival, Team PokerStars Pro and Twitch superstar Jason Somerville will be on hand for what PokerStars is calling a RunItUp Day.
On Saturday, Nov. 5, Somerville’s Run It Up team will “take over the tournament room” according to PokerStars, where he’ll host a variety of mixed-game events, including a Dealer’s Choice Stud Club event. Experimental mixed-games have become a staple of Somerville’s Run It Up events.
Somerville will also host a poker seminar and a Q&A session.
PokerStars is also touting a $300+$40 Survivor “Immunity” tournament, hosted by reality TV stars Tyson Apostol and “Boston Rob” Mariano. The tournament boasts $3,000 in additional cash prizes.