The European Poker Tour (EPT) is Europe's richest and most popular poker tour. The EPT was created in 2004 by PokerStars. Over the course of its history, it has seen stops held in some of the most spectacular European destinations, such as Monte Carlo, London, Berlin, Barcelona and more.
In 2017, the tour was momentarily replaced by the PokerStars Championship, but the EPT returned in 2018. It continues to attract some of the best poker players from around the world.
The poker boom in the early 200s saw immense growth in televised poker such as the Late Night Poker, the Poker Million and the World Poker Tour. The European Poker Tour (EPT) was created by John Duthie, winner of the inaugural Poker Million.
EPT Season 1 (2004-05)
The very first EPT was held in Barcelona and was won by Alexander Stevic for €80,000. Stevic would go on to finish third in the inaugural season's Grand Final held at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort for €178,000.
The Grand Final was won by the Netherlands' Rob Hollink for €635,000.
There were seven events in the inaugural season with two British and two Dutch players grabbing titles.
EPT Grand Final, Monte Carlo
EPT Season 2 (2005-06)
The second season of the EPT also had seven events, with the only change being a switch from Baden to Vienna. Patrik Antonius won the new EPT Baden only two months after winning the Scandinavian Poker Championships.
Meanwhile, there were wins for both Mark Teltscher and Mads Andersen in their "home" EPTs in London and Copenhagen respectively.
EPT Grand Final, Monte Carlo
EPT Season 3 (2006-07)
The first ever EPT live-reported by PokerNews took place in March 2007 in Dortmund, as Andreas Hoivold won €672,000 after defeating a field of 493 players.
EPT Dortmund was one of eight stops in Season 3 with other notables grabbing titles including Roland de Wolfe (pictured) and Gavin Griffin, both of whom would go onto achieve poker's Triple Crown (winning EPT, WPT and WSOP titles).
The big names were out in force on Season 4 of the European Poker Tour, with Mike McDonald (pictured), Jason Mercier and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier bagging titles. Grospellier won his EPT title at the inaugural PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) for a cool $2,000,000.
This season was book-ended by two other seven-figure first prizes with Sander Lylloff winning the season-opening EPT Barcelona (denying Mark Teltscher a second EPT title heads-up), and Glen Chorny winning over €2m in the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo.
There was no let-up from the EPT with another 11-event schedule for the fifth season. The EPT record of 1,136 set at the PCA in Season 4 was broken not just by the same event in Season 5, but also by EPT Sanremo.
Stories from Season 5 include Will Fry winning his first major tournament at EPT Budapest, Sandra Naujoks becoming the second female EPT champion and the first champions from Portugal and Italy.
By Season 6, the EPT had grown to include 13 destinations, the most stops in its history. Many players who would go on to become EPT regulars won titles in Season 6, including Jake Cody and Liv Boeree who would enjoy successful spells as PokerStars Team Pros.
Season 7 of the EPT would start just like previous seasons, but by the end of the season, the poker world would be rocked by the events of Black Friday in April 2011.
Galen Hall would win the largest PCA Main Event ever for $2.3 million, defeating 1,560 players in the process. Future Triple Crown winner Robert Romanello won his EPT title in Season 7 at EPT Prague, while there were three other British champions in the shape of Toby Lewis, David Vamplew and Rupert Elder.
Season 8 was the final season with 13 stops on the calendar. It was also the only time the series visited Greece for EPT Loutraki, and that Campione held an EPT festival.
Three Danes picked up EPT honours in as many festivals as Mickey Petersen, Frederik Jensen and Jannick Wrang all won EPT Main Events. This was followed by Davidi Kitai's victory at EPT Berlin, the first by a Belgian on the European Poker Tour. This also marked the only occasion that a player has completed poker's Triple Crown by winning an EPT title. He became the fifth winner of poker's triple crown.
By 2012, the EPT was beginning to focus on several core stops as part of the tour. This included Barcelona as the season-opener, Prague and the PCA straddling the turn of the year, and the Grand Final in Monte Carlo rounding out the year.
Mikalai Pobal and Dimitar Danchev won the first EPT titles for Belarus and Bulgaria respectively, while Steve O'Dwyer won the EPT Grand Final Main Event for €1.2m. This victory, along with several other major scores, puts him at the top of the EPT all-time money list with almost $12.5 million in earnings.
The EPT returned in 2018 with five stops including the first trip to Russia, with a visit to Casino Sochi. Arsenii Karmatckii became only the fourth Russian to win an EPT title, before the tour returned to stops in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Prague.
Season 15 of the European Poker Tour was unusual, in that it held the same five stops as the previous year. This is the first time the tour had done this, and as a result it saw increased Main Event numbers in three of the five festivals.
That included the 2019 EPT Barcelona Main Event with a staggering 1,988 entries - almost as many entries as the inaugural EPT season attracted. The event was won by Sweden's Simon Brandstrom for almost €1.3 million.
Then, at EPT Prague, Mikalai Pobal became the second two-time winner on the EPT after defeating 1,154 players to win the EPT Prague Main Event.
In 2020, there was only one live European Poker Tour festival held as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Ruslan Bogdanov took down the EPT Sochi Main Event title for $175,743 after a heads-up deal with Viktor Tkachenko.
Following the coronavirus pandemic's end, EPT Season 18 resumed to normality, with five stops occurring throughout 2022. There were two stops in Prague, Czech Republic, and the tour returned to London, England, for the first time in eight years. The EPT also visited regular destinations, such as Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
The EPT returned with a bang, with several events breaking attendance and prize pool records throughout the year. The 2022 EPT Barcelona Main Event became the biggest of all time, with 2,294 entries recorded. Italy's Guiliano Bendinelli was the victor in that tournament and pocketed the €1,491,133 allocated for first place.
The European Poker Tour has visited 23 destinations in 18 countries across Europe, not including the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure held in the Bahamas from 2008-19.
The destination that has hosted the most EPT festivals is Barcelona, closely followed by Monte Carlo who hosted the EPT Grand Final in every year from 2004-16 (apart from 2011 where it was held in Madrid).
16: Barcelona, Spain
14: Monte Carlo, Monaco
14: Prague, Czech Republic
12: London, United Kingdom and The Bahamas
9: Deauville, France
8: Copenhagen, Denmark
7: San Remo, Italy
5: Dublin, Ireland
4: Sochi, Russia; Warsaw, Poland and Berlin, Germany
3: Malta; Dortmund, Germany; Vienna, Austria and Baden, Austria
2: Madrid, Spain; Vilamoura, Portugal; Tallinn Estonia and Salzburg, Austria
Only four destinations have held just one EPT festival: Budapest, Hungary (2008); Kiev, Ukraine (2009); Loutraki, Greece (2011) and Campione, Italy (2012)
European Poker Tour (EPT) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who has won multiple European Poker Tour (EPT) titles?
Both Victoria Coren-Mitchell and Mikalai Pobal have won two EPT titles.
What is the largest European Poker Tour (EPT) Main Event?
The largest EPT Main Event was at EPT Barcelona in August 2022. Giuliano Bendinelli topped the 2,294-entry field to win €1.5m.
What is the biggest European Poker Tour (EPT) first prize?
The biggest EPT first prize came at the EPT Grand Final, Monte Carlo in May 2009. Pieter de Korver defeated 935 players to win €2.3m.
What is the largest PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Main Event?
The largest PCA Main Event was in January 2011. Galen Hall defeated 1,560 players to win $2.3m.
What is the biggest PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) first prize?
The biggest PCA first prize came in January 2009. Poorya Nazari defeated 1,347 players to win $3,000,000