WSOP Europe

WSOP Europe to Move to Berlin in 2015

As the eyes of the poker world were transfixed on television screens and computer monitors last night to see who would become the next World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event Champion (spoiler: it was Martin Jacobson), those who had another eye on Twitter may have noticed an interestingly timed message from the official WSOP Twitter account: “Seems like a good time to tell you: 2015 WSOP Europe will be in Berlin, Germany!”

That is correct. During the middle of one of the strongest three-handed Main Event final table battles we have seen a while, the WSOP thought it would be a good idea to sneak in some fairly important news about the future of the WSOP Europe (WSOPE). No press release has been issued yet.

At any rate, The WSOPE is going to move to Berlin next year, the latest in several venue changes for alternative World Series of Poker.

The World Series of Poker began in 2007 at a trio of London Clubs International casinos in…London: Fifty, Leicester Square, and the Sportsman. There were just three events, including a £10,000 Main Event, but it was the first time that any official bracelet events had been held outside of Las Vegas. The highlight of the first WSOPE was the crowning of internet phenom Annette “Annette_15” Obrestad as the Main Event champ. She became both the first woman to win an open WSOP “main” event and the youngest person ever to win a bracelet, just a day short of her 19th birthday. It would be two more years before she would even be allowed to legally play in the WSOP in Las Vegas.  berlin map

The 2008 WSOPE stayed in London, but stuck to one casino, Casino at the Empire in Leicester Square. It was another WSOP of firsts: Jesper Hougaard became the first player to win a WSOP bracelet and WSOPE bracelet in the same year and Ivan Demidov was the first player to make the final table of the WSOP and WSOPE Main Events.

Casino at the Empire was again the host venue for the both the 2009 and 2010 World Series of Poker Europe, but in 2011, a switch was made to two casinos in France: the Majestic Barrière Cannes and the Le Croisette Casino Barrière in Cannes. In addition to this Series being the first WSOPE held outside of London, it was also the first to feature tournament buy-ins denominated in Euros. 2011 was the first year that WSOPE events counted toward the World Series of Poker Player of the Year (POY) standings. By this time, there were seven bracelet events in the schedule.

2012 also saw the WSOPE return to the two casinos in Cannes, France and while the 2013 WSOP Europe was also in France, it moved to Casino Barriere in Enghien-les-Bains. A high roller event was added, bringing the total number of events to eight.

In November 2013, the World Series of Poker announced a significant change to its international schedule, deciding to not hold the WSOP Europe every year. It was in April 2013 that the WSOP Asia Pacific (WSOP APAC) made its debut and the powers that be made the decision to move it to October the following year, the time that the WSOP Europe was normally held. The WSOPE was not held in 2014 and from here on out, the two international versions of the World Series of Poker will be held in alternating years. So the WSOPE will run again in 2015 while the WSOP APAC will sit out and resume in 2016.

At the time of the announcement, WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart explained the reasoning behind the change in a press release, “Moving to a rotational approach, with one international event per year allows for better organization and more marketing in each region. We also want to do right by the players, and provide more value for their travel dollar. There is a glut of poker tournaments around the world, and our vision is to each year put on a single global showcase that can’t be missed.”

And now the WSOP Europe will head to its third country, Germany. Berlin has hosted major poker tournaments in the past, serving as the location for the European Poker Tour (EPT) Berlin stop from 2010 through 2013. The events were held at the Grand Hyatt Berlin, though no announcement has been made yet as to where the 2015 WSOP Europe will take place. EPT Berlin was also the site of one of the more infamous moments in live tournament history, as four armed men robbed the event, getting away with €242,000. They were caught several days later.

Prior to Berlin, the German city of Dortmund was a stop on the European Poker Tour from 2007 through 2009.

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