Only two locations have been on every European Poker Tour schedule since its inception in 2003.
London is one of them.
Barcelona is the other, but if you're truly looking for the birthplace of the EPT England’s capital city is it.
The eleventh edition of the EPT London festival is ready to get underway in the early hours tonight with the UKIPT main event. We've got a full preview of what you can expect over the series below.
We'll also have PokerListings reporters live at the Great Connaught Rooms throughout so tune in daily for reports, interviews and features from the heart of the action.
First up: A look at the schedule. There are 45 events on the agenda for UKIPT/EPT London 2014 and these are the highlights:
- Oct 8-12: £770 UKIPT Main Event
- Oct 9-11: £330 London Cup
- Oct 11/12: £2.200 UKIPT High Roller
- Oct 12-18: £4,250 EPT Main Event
- Oct 16-18: £10,300 EPT High Roller Event
There will also be a Seniors’ and a Women’s event for £220 each plus a rarely mentioned £220 Hyper Turbo. The Hyper turbo traditionally concludes EPT festivals and is usually a tournament with a buy-in of 120 of whatever the local currency is.
As you likely know already, everything is more expensive in London. It's very much worth it though.
Along with Barcelona EPT London is probably the most fun tournament on the tour and the best chance for new players to taste a real EPT environment without risking most their bankroll.
All events will be played at the Great Connaught Rooms, only a 15-minute walk from Leicester Square in the heart of London. The only exceptions are satellites to both UKIPT and EPT main events which take place in the PokerStars’ card room in the Hippodrome casino.
There will not be a Super High Roller event in London this year. It has been moved to Prague where PokerStars will hold a massive festival in December with 59 events. Watch out for the PokerListings coverage there as well.
Last year the Super High Roller was dominated by Germany. Four out of the top five finalists were German with the win eventually going to Martin Finger.
Who Will Be There?
With a clash this year between the EPT London and WSOP APAC schedules most of the European pros seem to have opted for London.
Of the PokerStars team Bertrand Grospellier, Leo Margets, Johnny Lodden, Luca Pagano, Malta resident Ike Haxton and local heroes Jake Cody, Liv Boeree and double EPT title winner Vicky Coren have announced their participation.
Notable participants expected from overseas are Jason Mercier, Victor Ramdin and Marc-André Ladouceur.
On the other hand we will be missing the players who are still in the running for WSOP player of the year. German team pro George Danzer, for example, is in Australia and chasing current POY Leader Brandon Shack-Harris in the points race.
Daniel Negreanu picked the WSOP APAC this year, too. Not only is he also still in the running for POY he needs to defend the title he won at WSOP APAC last year.
The EPT London main event will be live streamed again from Day 2 on.
Broadcast begins daily at 1PM EST, except for the final table, which will be streamed with a one-hour delay to enable seeing the hole cards.
The stream will start at 3 PM and the commentary will be in the hands of James Hartigan, Joe Stapleton and numerous guests as usual.
Check the PokerListings blog for the stream itself starting on Oct. 14.
EPT London - Where Benny Spindler Rewrote the Rules
Last year the main event proved to be a memorable affair, highlighted in particular by the amazing runs of relentlessly aggressive German-Scottish player Ludovic Geilich and online qualifier and recreational player Leo McClean.
They both reached the final table and ended the tournament in 4th and 3rd place, respectively. The 2013 title went to Sweden. Robin Ylitalo took the win and a check for over £560,980.
The main event in London has always been a spectacular tournament as it is a particularly prestigious title to win.
Consequently we’ve seen a lot of amazing moves during this event. In 2010 there was a hand that is now known as “the hand where Benny Spindler rewrote the rules of poker."
See how the eventual winner outplays his opponent with a marginal hand here: