From Oct. 8-24, the poker world's eyes will be fixated heavily on Berlin, Germany, for a new, exciting edition of the World Series of Poker Europe. The European leg of the world's most important and acclaimed poker series is back after a one-year hiatus due to the WSOP's alternating of its international series, and there's plenty to keep you interested.
Held at the Spielbank Berlin Casino, the festival will keep everyone busy with 10 bracelet events that are set to bring some of the biggest names in the game right to the heart of Europe. To help you follow the event and to provide you with everything you need to feel part of the action — even if you are not in Berlin — we put together a quick list of five interesting facts you should know about the competition.
1. The WSOP Europe Is In Berlin for the First Time Ever
Although one may think otherwise, especially knowing how Germans have been crushing the poker scene during the past few years, this is the first time the WSOP Europe takes place in Germany.
Launched in 2007 to bring the WSOP brand closer to Europe's vibrant poker community, WSOP Europe started as an English affair, with the first four editions from 2007-2010 taking place in London.
The series then crossed the Channel Tunnel to head to Cannes, France, a place poker players called home during two consecutive editions in 2011 and 2012. Then, in 2013, the WSOP Europe moved to the outskirts of Paris to bring the event to the Barriere Casino in the charming city of Enghien-les-Bains.
After a one-year hiatus due to the organizer’s decision to rotate annually the WSOP Europe and WSOP Asia-Pacific, the series is now back for their first-ever stop in Germany.
Talking to PokerNews' Sarah Herring, WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart explained the decision to take the WSOP Europe to Berlin by saying, "Germany is a hotbed for poker. Our researches have shown that Germans make up the highest percentage of players at the European Poker Tour (EPT) and we have the chance to be the only game in town. There is no EPT stop there anymore [and] we feel that we are going to have a massive event in Germany."
2. 888poker Is Everywhere
Don't be surprised if you are in Berlin and you see 888poker branding everywhere: the world's second-largest online poker site is the official sponsor of the WSOP Europe and we can promise you they are going to do all they can to make you notice that.
During the past months, 888poker ran an impressive number of online satellites to give nearly anyone the opportunity to join the event and get their WSOP Europe experience at a fraction of the cost. As usual, 888poker players in Berlin are going to be treated with a great deal of initiatives and surprises — as the poker room told PokerNews they aim to make this "an unforgettable experience for their qualifiers."
888poker's focus on creating 'the perfect poker experience' for their players is part of a grand strategy that the poker room apply to every event they sponsor or organize — let this be the 2015 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, or the much smaller 888Live Local events they organize throughout Europe.
Numbers at hand, their approach seems to be working pretty well for the poker site, as the latest data from PokerScout shows that 888poker seems to be the only site experiencing a growth in the declining online poker industry, especially thanks to their success in attracting recreational players to the platform.
3. Daniel Negreanu Will Not Be There — But Phil Hellmuth Is
For how the field at the WSOP Europe may be already full of big names, there is one poker pro who has already announced that he will not join the games in Germany.
As he wrote on Twitter on Oct. 1, Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu will not be at the Spielbank to defend the title in the high roller event he won during the 2013 edition in Enghien-les-Bains, nor to grab the seventh bracelet of his career.
Regrettably, I will be skipping the WSOPE this year. Several reasons: @BlueJays, hockey is back, and I'll be filming a couple things.Follow @RealKidPoker
One who is already in Berlin, however, is Phil Hellmuth. The legendary poker pro is already fighting to secure the 15th WSOP bracelet in his career and best his victory in the 2012 WSOP Europe Main Event in Cannes for €1,022,376.
4. Dominik Nitsche Will Share His Main Event Cash
Right before the beginning of the WSOP Europe, 888poker pro Dominik Nitsche announced that he would be giving away five percent of his WSOP Europe Main Event action to the winner of the Dominik Main Event WSOPE Qualifier, a special tournament held at 888poker on Oct. 4.
As pointed out in this article, the winner of this event will have a great chance to win big money, consider Nitsche is just shy of $5 million of career live tournament winnings, according to Hendon Mob. If this promotion ran two years ago, this means the winner of the Dominik Main Event WSOPE Qualifier would have walked away with €20,000, as the German poker pro won a cool €400,000 for his third-place finish.
We Have a Whole New Website to Keep You Updated!
Here at PokerNews, we take the WSOP Europe very seriously, and that's why we decided to launch an all-new website dedicated exclusively to the event.
If you want to make sure you know everything that happens in Berlin and you want to hear everything about the action at the tables, visit (and bookmark) this page.
Thanks to the help of our friends at 888poker, we will offer you daily recaps, feature stories, interviews, a special "888 Hand of the Day" piece, podcasts, and more surrounding all of the action in Berlin. Don't miss it!