This summer all eyes will be on the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, and rightly so. This is the biggest poker event in the world, with more people heading for the City of Sin to play the WSOP than any other poker event. Not only will the winner of the Main Event net themselves a profit of several million dollars, but there are countless other bracelets to be won, with everything from Omaha to Turbo Hold’em and even Senior events throwing up big cash prizes.
That feels like it’s someway away right now, but there are plenty of other big tournaments on the way. As well as the World Series of Poker circuit stops, which we mentioned in a recent article there are also stops on the World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour to keep you sharp in time for the big one.
World Poker Tour
For many the World Poker Tour is the second biggest tour after the World Series of Poker, certainly as far as American players are concerned, with Europeans tending to lean more towards the European Poker Tour discussed below. This tour runs throughout the year with stops at some of the most glamorous casinos all over the world.
At the time of writing the World Poker Tour has just finished its Los Angeles leg and is preparing for a visit to San Jose and the Bay 101 Casino. The tour will stop here until the 13th, and as the next stop begins on the 12th, several thousands miles over the Atlantic, it’s going to be a stretch for players seeking to make every stop. The proximity to the previous event in LA makes this event an obvious choice for WPT fans, but the fact that the 12th March event is in Vienna, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, makes that a tempting offer. You can’t possible say no to the birthplace of Mozart, can you?
The final day of the Main Event in San Jose is on the 13th, so if you do make it that far then you can always arrive in Vienna a day later. You’ll miss the Main Event there if you do, as it begins on the evening of the 12th, but you can still catch the High Roller event, a Turbo tournament and/or a Knockout event.
Still, most American players will probably choose to remain in California, and that will make it easier for them to hit the WPT Rolling Thunder stop on the 14th of March. This is located in Lincoln, California, and then the next stop is southeast, in Hollywood, Florida. Michael Mizrachi and Jason Mercier actually call this city home and will no doubt be heading to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino for this televised WPT event.
That event finishes on the 22nd of April and then, two days later, the WPT moves north to Atlantic City and the Borgata casino, which will be the final stop on the 2015 World Poker Tour.
European Poker Tour
As you may have already worked out, it’s not really viable for a US poker player to hit all stops on the WPT, because as soon as they head for Europe and Vienna on the second stop mentioned, then they’re throwing their schedule out of whack. Still, Vienna has so much more to offer than many of the US stops and if you tire of California and do make it to Vienna, then you can also remain in Europe and hit-up the European Poker Tour instead.
The EPT is in its eleventh season and the next stop is in Malta on the 17th of March. Malta is a tiny island but it has a lot of history and it attracts a lot of tourists. This is not one of the biggest stops on the tour but it’s well worth a visit if you fancy your chances at EPT glory.
Next up is the Grand Daddy of casinos, the Monte-Carlo Casino in the principality of Monaco. This casino has featured in countless films and has hosted James Bond many times. The stop reaches here towards the end of April, and as you’re in a billionaire’s playground you can expect to be facing just as many rich amateurs as poker professionals. In the last season of the EPT this stop netted the winner over 1.2 million euros, which amounts to just under $2 million. The Main Event has a buy-in that works out to around $15,000 and is therefore more than the WSOP Main Event, but the experience of the Monte-Carlo Casino, one of the most luxurious casinos in the world, is not to be missed.
Monaco is also the final stop of the EPT, often called the EPT Grand Final, but the next season should kick-off again towards the end of the year.