WSOP Europe Returns as Annual Event
The World Series of Poker Europe (WSOP Europe) will return this fall according to a release issued this week by the WSOP. Last year’s WSOP Europe was the richest tournament series in the history of the continent, with 7.689 entrants generating more than 25 million euros in prize pools across 11 events. This year, WSOP Europe will consist of 10 events, running October 11th through November 2nd, 2018 at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.
“By all measures, our inaugural WSOP Europe was a great success – even Allen Kessler was pleased,” said King’s Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik in a press release. “Now that King’s Casino is firmly established as Europe’s most popular poker venue, we have doubled down and have made a bigger commitment to bring WSOP Europe to Rozvadov annually.”
Allen Kessler is a tournament grinder who has become legendary for making a heck of a living achieving cashes on the low end of the payout table. He is also very vocal when it comes to tournament structures.
Having the World Series of Poker Europe in 2018 was not the original plan. In November 2013, it was decided that WSOP Europe and WSOP Asia Pacific (WSOP APAC) would be held in alternating years, WSOP Europe in odd-numbered years and WSOP APAC in even-numbered years. Thus, it went WSOP APAC in 2014 and WSOP Europe in 2015.
As the saying goes, though, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
It turned out there was no WSOP APAC in 2016, nor was there a WSOP Europe. WSOP Europe returned as scheduled in 2017, and now, as it appears that WSOP APAC may be dead, WSOP Europe is back in an even-numbered year. And it is back at King’s Casino.
“We have long searched for a great venue and host for WSOP Europe and we believe we’ve finally found it,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “King’s Casino has been a terrific host and with their expansion complete, we’re pleased to commit to holding WSOP Europe annually each October in Rozvadov.”
The World Series of Poker Europe has bounced around to a number of cities and venues. It began it 2007 as the first expansion of the WSOP outside of the United States. Harrah’s (now Caesars Entertainment) owned the WSOP brand and had purchased London Clubs International. As such, the first WSOP Europe was held at the three London LCI casinos, Fifty, Leicester Square, and The Sportsman. There were only three events that year, but the Main Event was particularly notable because it was won by internet poker phenom Annette “Annette_15” Obrestad, who nabbed the title a day before her 19th birthday. That made Obrestad the youngest player ever to win a World Series of Poker bracelet. She would not even be able to compete at the WSOP in Las Vegas until 2010 because of her age.
WSOP Europe stayed in London in 2008, adding an event and moving to Casino at the Empire. It stayed there through 2010, by which time the festival was up to five events.
WSOP Europe travelled across the English channel for its 2011 and 2012 editions, moving to Cannes, France. The Majestic Barrière Cannes and the Le Croisette Casino Barrière were the host venues for the now seven events.
France was again the host country for the 2013 WSOP Europe, but the move was made to the Casino Barriere in Enghien-les-Bains. The schedule was lengthened to eight events, but it lasted only 13 days, ten shorter than this year, even though the 2018 WSOP Europe has just two additional tournaments.
The 2015 WSOP Europe (remember, it was on the odd-year rotation at this point) was switched to Spielbank Berlin in Germany.
And now the poker festival will be making its second consecutive appearance at King’s Casino in Rozvadov and, based on the press release, it looks like that will be its permanent home. King’s Casino is one of those casinos that was mostly off the radar until just the last few years, but has certainly committed to being the poker hub of Europe with a poker room that houses more than 200 tables.
Rozvadov is also a city that most people who aren’t from around there probably don’t know much about. It is in extreme western Czech Republic, right on the German border. Compared to cities in England and France, it is actually a great location because it is smack-dab in the middle of Europe, making it an easier trip for more people.
Aside from the dates, the World Series of Poker Europe does not have an official schedule published yet.