EPT Grand Final moving back to Monte Carlo

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Feb 09, 2012 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

In 2011 the PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) moved their end-of-the-season Championship Tournament, the Grand Final, from its home in Monte Carlo to Madrid, Spain. Well after the one-year experiment the EPT has decided to move the Grand Final back to Monte Carlo in 2012, for Season VIII of the popular tournament series.

The Grand Final was played in Monte Carlo for the first six years of the EPT, before last year’s decision to move it to Madrid, and like before the tournament will take place at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Casino. The Grand Final will kick-off on April 23 and will run through May 1 when the winner of the prestigious event is crowned.

There was no official announcement as to why the Grand Final would be returning to Monte Carlo, but a likely reason was the huge drop in attendance between 2010 (when 848 poker players registered for the tournament in Monte Carlo) and 2011 (when just 686 players registered for the Grand Final in Madrid).

Historically, the Grand Final has been one of the highest-attended events on the tour, and has become one of the Top 5 most prestigious tournaments in the world. Here is a look at the attendance marks for the Grand Final over the years, as well as the past winners of the EPT Grand Final Championship:

* 2011: Season VII EPT Grand Final in Madrid, Spain – 686 total entrants, won by Ivan Freitez €1,500,000

* 2010: Season VI EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, Monaco – 848 total entrants, won by Nicholas Chouithy €1,700,000

* 2009: Season V EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, Monaco – 935 total entrants, won by Pieter de Korver €2,300,000

* 2008: Season IV EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, Monaco – 842 total entrants, won by Glenn Chorny €2,020,000

* 2007: Season III EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, Monaco – 706 total entrants, won by Gavin Griffin €1,825,010

* 2006: Season II EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, Monaco – 298 total entrants, won by Jeff Williams €900,000

* 2005: Season I EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, Monaco – 211 total entrants, won by Rob Hollink €635,000

The EPT and PokerStars has undergone a bit of a shakeup in upper management over the past year with Tournament Director Thomas Kremser and EPT Founder and CEO John Duthie both moving on to new ventures. But EPT President Edgar Stuchly was quoted in the PokerStars blog as saying, “This will be the biggest and best EPT festival ever held, and we’re putting together an incredible tournament.”

A complete schedule of the EPT Grand Final and all of the preliminary events will be released in the future.

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