EPT Moscow marches on?

Ivan Demidov
Will Team PokerStars Pro Ivan Demidov ever play at home again?

Despite Russia's recent ban on Poker, PokerStars says EPT Moscow is still a go.

The Russian Ministry of Youth, Sport and Tourism passed an order July 20 removing poker's status as a sport, effectively banishing the game to the country's four newly designated gambling zones, all outside the Russian capital.

The PokerStars European Poker Tour had planned to kick off its sixth season in Moscow August 17-23 and PokerStars Press Officer Donna McLoughlin says despite the order, those plans have not changed.

"As far as I know EPT Moscow is still going ahead," she told PokerListings. "We are looking into the situation in Russia and if there are any updates we will let you know."

However, Dmitry Lesnoy, president of the Russian Sports Poker Federation, seems less optimistic.

"We are very sorry to lose our image in the eyes of the international poker community that was hoping to see the European Poker Tournament in Moscow this year," an official statement from the Federation reads.

"It will be a great pity for us if Russian poker stars move abroad to play under the flags of other countries. But we have to accept the inevitable."

Satellites for EPT Moscow are still currently running on PokerStars daily.

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