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Last hurrah for EPT Dortmund?
As the PokerStars European Poker Tour winds up its third visit to the German city of Dortmund, rumors abound that this latest visit might be the last.
Despite impressive enrollment numbers and a made-for-TV final table, the host Casino Hohensyburg has received failing marks from a number of top pros.
"I feel a bit ashamed that [the casino] is representing Germany," Katja Thater told PokerListings.com.
The Team PokerStars Pro member cited organizational difficulties and confusion about rules protocol among her complaints.
"I'm unhappy about the organization of the tournament between the casino and the government," she said. "People have come from all over the world to play in this event. Clonie Gowen was here.
"From this view, it's not a good EPT event."
Sebastian Ruthenberg agreed.
"The tournament was not really well organized," he said. "But it was nice to see so many people who are still interested in poker."
Thater also took issue with a rule prohibiting the display of poker-branded logos, an unusual regulation that required all of Team PokerStars - and the 143 online qualifiers - to cover up their poker room swag with electrical tape.
"I don't like it," Thater said. "I guess it will be the last EPT in Dortmund."
EPT founder John Duthie was predictably mum when asked to comment on Thater's statements.
"All I can say is that if we do come back next year, a lot of things will have to change," he said.
Duthie's dissatisfaction notwithstanding, the EPT may find its hands tied when it comes to finding a new venue.
"Two years ago, John Duthie came to Germany and we tried to find locations for an EPT event," Thater said. "We went to Hamburg and other cities, but to host an EPT you need to have a casino with a big room for the feature table."
In many casinos in Europe, such space is in short supply.
Besides Germany, Duthie told PokerListings the EPT is looking at a number of new venues for Season 6.
"We're definitely looking at other possibilities," he said. "Portugal or Morocco - Marrakech. A destination event - somewhere warm."
The schedule won't see too much expansion in terms of sheer volume, however.
"We're looking at a maximum of 12 events," Duthie said.
The EPT's Season 6 schedule should be released by the time the Grand Final takes place in Monte Carlo in late April.