EPT Adds Multiple Player of the Year Leader Boards
In a move designed to appeal to regular PokerStars European Poker Tour players, PokerStars announced today that Season 11 will include three Player of the Year races. The three leaderboards will cover different buy-in levels, with the Global Poker Index (GPI) providing the calculations for the points.
The three leaderboards are designed to provide three different winners, with the Gold Player of the Year being across all open events, the Silver Player of the Year for events up to $4,000 buy-ins, and the Bronze Player of the Year covering everything under $600. Each of the three Player of the Year champions will earn a customised trophy for their achievements.
This is a departure for the EPT, who have run a single bracketed Player of the Year race in previous years, which was won last year by the German wunderkind, Ole Schemion. Schemion was on fire during Season 10 of the EPT, posting 13 cashes for a massive $1,725,109 in winnings. He also managed to pick up a trifecta of cashes in the Season 10 stop in Barcelona. He cashed in the Super High Roller (6th place), the Main Event (123rd place) and the High Roller (6th) for what may be the first time a player has managed this feat.
Edgar Stuchly, President of the European Poker Tour was clear to point out how this change reflects the players at the EPT stops. “The European Poker Tour caters to an incredible spectrum of players of all skill levels and bankrolls, and we believe the Player of the Year should reflect that,” He said. “Each stop of the EPT is a huge poker festival and this change allows us to recognise this diversity.”
The owner of the GPI, Alex Dreyfus, also commented on the deal. “I’m happy that the EPT and Global Poker Index continue to work together to establish industry standards. We share a vision and commitment to promote poker as a global and unified sport to a mainstream audience.”
This move increases the interaction between the GPI and PokerStars, who have made several announcements recently that they are going to be working more closely with others. With Amaya’s recent purchase of PokerStars, and the GPI’s apparent desire to be involved in many aspects of live poker, it’s starting to look that this is going to be the “power couple” of the poker world. Earlier this week, they announced that during EPT Barcelona the GPI Fantasy Poker Manager app for Facebook is going to be awarding real prizes for those who manage to create the best teams for the Super High Roller and Main Events. Each event has prizes that include a €2,000 PokerStars National Tour ticket, and four €100 online tickets for the best five teams per event.
The Player of the Year announcement was made on the back of Day 1 a record Super High Roller event, with a €50,000 buy-in, at the 100th EPT stop. This EPT Barcelona is kicking off season 11, and yesterday saw 77 players enter the opening event of the season. This is the biggest ever Super High Roller on the EPT, with 58 unique entries and 19 rebuys creating a massive prizepool of over €3.6 million. Eleven players will cash, and the live action is available to watch on PokerStars.tv, with a replay function if you missed any of the action. While hole cards aren’t going to be shown until the final table, the chance to watch some of the best tournament players in the world can only be good for your game.
The poker festival that follows the EPT is in full force in Barcelona, with Day 1a of the main event starting not starting until Thursday the 21st, there is a lot to keep players in the hunt for one of the new Player of the Year titles. The Estrellas Poker Tour is also making an appearance at this stop, and has just gone through the bubble as I type this. The €1,000 entry event has nearly $400K up top for the winner, which is a massive prize for such a relatively small buy in.
We will have to see if someone is able to match Ole Schemion’s amazing run at last year’s Barcelona stop, and how the first stop with three different Player of the Year races will play out. What is certain is that it is going to be fun to watch, and will have more than a little of my attention over the next eight days.