A Look at the History of the EPT Vienna
What stop on the first season of the EPT attracted the most players? You might be surprised to learn that it was the EPT Vienna with 297 players (the next closest was the EPT French Open with 243 players).
That first stop, which ran from March 10-11, 2005, resulted in an international final table that included two Americans, two Englishmen, a Swede, Finn, and an Austrian; however, it was Frenchman Pascal Perrault that defeated Andreas Harnemo in heads-up play to capture the €184,000 first-place prize. It was a successful penultimate stop for Season 1, but little did everyone know that the city wouldn’t play host to an EPT again for half a decade.
The EPT returned to Vienna for its seventh season from October 26-31, 2010. The return to the Austrian capital was well received by the players, 587 of who turned out to create a prize pool of €2,935,000. By then the EPT had grown in both size and prestige, so it was no surprise to see some famous faces in the field.
Among those to earn cashes were Nacho Barbero (76th - €8,000), Luke Schwartz (65th - €8,000), Jason Wheeler (54th - €9,500), Angel Guillen (52nd - €9,500), Surinder Sunar (18th - €16,000), and Kirill Zapletin (9th - €44,000).
That season’s final table featured three Germans, a Frenchman, Italian, and Greek, but two players overshadowed them all – the Czech Republic’s Martin Hruby and Canadian Daniel Negreanu. The latter actually flew out Amanda Leatherman and Joe Stapleton to sweat him at the final table, which marked “Stapes’” first EPT experience. Unfortunately they didn’t get to see their man win as Negreanu ultimately finished in fourth place for €175,000.
Hruby did a bit better, but had to settle for runner-up and €470,000 after he fell to one of the aforementioned Germans, 20-year-old economics student and Sunday Million winner Michael “mae9690” Eiler, in heads-up play. In the final hand of that tournament, Eiler, who had a significant chip lead, moved all in for the third hand in a row holding. Hruby called off with the , which was racing against the of Eiler. The flop delivered Eiler a flush, and the turn left Hruby drawing dead. The river made it official, and Eiler took home the €700,000 first-place prize.
The EPT hasn’t been back to Vienna since Season 7, but now it's back. We're currently at the stunning Hofburg Palace, which is playing host to a 40-event tournament schedule that will include more innovative and fun game variants than any other festival up to date.
“The EPT is all about fun, celebrating the excitement of the game and gathering players together for a good time, and we really wanted to make a splash on our return to Vienna," said Neil Johnson, Head of Live Poker Operations for the EPT. "The EPT is known for game innovation, variety and we pride ourselves on providing game types in tournament format that you simply don’t find at other live events.”
The EPT Vienna Festival is in partnership with the Concord Card Casino Group, which operates 13 poker rooms in Austria and has more than 20 years of experience.