SOURCE: PokerStars

PokerStars

June 15, 2009 11:29 ET

The World's Richest Poker Tour Announces Biggest Season Yet

LONDON--(Marketwire - June 15, 2009) - John Duthie, chief executive of the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour (EPT), today announced the first half of the schedule for EPT Season Six. The European Poker Tour is now the world's richest poker tour in terms of both players and prize pools and is sponsored by PokerStars, the world's largest online poker site with over 23 million registered players worldwide.

"The new EPT season includes many events which have made the past five seasons such a triumph with world record breaking fields and prize pools across Europe," said Duthie. "We have set very high standards and we aim to improve on them still further in Season Six -- with new additions to the schedule as well as a richer mix of games and buy-ins to cater to more players."

Last year's PokerStars EPT season proved a massive success and overtook the WPT in terms of amount of players and prize pools. EPT Season Five generated an overall prize pool of almost EUR 55 million (approx $77 million USD) with 7,980 players from 97 countries of which 3,077 were PokerStars players. The four richest prize pools available in poker tournaments outside the United States last year occurred during the fifth season of the PokerStars EPT at: the PCA ($12.7M USD); Monte Carlo ($12.3M USD); San Remo ($7.5M USD); and Barcelona ($7M USD).

The EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final generated the biggest ever prize pool in Europe at more than EUR 9.3 million. The Grand Final winner, newly-signed Team PokerStars Pro Netherlands member Pieter de Korver, a 26-year-old poker pro from Leeuwarden, Holland, bested a record field of 935 players to take the first prize of EUR 2.3 million ($3.2 million USD).

"This year's EPT will be bigger and better than ever, kicking off in August in one of our newly scheduled destinations -- magnificent Moscow in Russia. Overall, the tour will visit an unprecedented thirteen countries* -- an increase of four events on top of last season. As well as Russia, the tour will include new stops in Portugal this November, and other destinations to be announced shortly," said Duthie.

The PokerStars EPT Season Six looks set to continue building upon the successes of the previous five seasons, attracting even more players and even larger prize pools. There will be more 'Festival of Poker'-style stops on the tour, beginning in London this October with, "The Pokerstars.com EPT London Festival at the Hilton Metropole Hotel," which will feature significant Pot-Limit Omaha and 8-Game events, as well as the return of the popular High Roller event. The EPT London Main Event will likely be the richest tournament ever in the United Kingdom.

Online satellites for the PokerStars EPT Moscow, Season Six start today, Monday, June 15, on PokerStars. Players who qualify on PokerStars don't just win their seat; they also win hotel accommodation (or cash equivalent) and spending money as part of their prize package. The EPT invites players from around the world to participate in this exciting event in Russia's historic and storied capital.

The PokerStars European Poker Tour Season Six schedule so far (more dates announced soon)* is as follows:

VENUE               CITY/COUNTRY TOURNAMENT    DATES        BUY-IN     CAP
                    ------------ ---------- ------------ ------------- ----
                         Moscow  EPT RUSSIA      August  200K+12K RUB
Radisson SAS              RUSSIA       OPEN  17-23, 2009 ($ 6,900 USD)  600
                    ------------ ---------- ------------ ------------- ----
                                        EPT              8,000+300 EUR
                      Barcelona   BARCELONA   Sept 4-9,     ($ 11,590
Casino Barcelona           SPAIN       OPEN         2009          USD)  700
                    ------------ ---------- ------------ ------------- ----
                                 EPT LONDON    Oct 1-7,  5,000+250 GBP
Hilton Metropole       London UK       OPEN         2009 ($ 8,370 USD)  800
                    ------------ ---------- ------------ ------------- ----
                         Warsaw  EPT WARSAW  Oct 20-25,  20K+1K PLN
Hyatt Regency             POLAND       OPEN         2009 ($ 6,460 USD)  400
                    ------------ ---------- ------------ ------------- ----
                      Vilamoura        EPT   Nov 17-22,  5,000+300 EUR
Casino Vilamoura        PORTUGAL  VILAMOURA         2009 ($ 7,400 USD)  600
                    ------------ ---------- ------------ ------------- ----
                    Prague CZECH EPT PRAGUE  Dec 16-21,  5,000+250 EUR
Hilton Prague           REPUBLIC       OPEN         2009 ($ 7,400 USD)  600
                    ------------ ---------- ------------ ------------- ----
                                              Jan 4-14,    10,000+600
Atlantis                 BAHAMAS        PCA         2010           USD 1600
                    ------------ ---------- ------------ ------------- ----

*Further dates and an undated schedule will be released shortly

**Currency conversions used herein are approximate and may change. See www.ept.com for further details.

More details can be found at www.ept.com. For further information please contact press@pokerstars.com

About www.pokerstars.net:

PokerStars is the world's largest poker room with over 23 million members worldwide, and more free-to-play tables than any other site. At PokerStars.net players learn how to play and practice poker skills for free. As the premier destination for the top players, with numerous tournaments running every day, PokerStars is renowned for offering the best software and security in the online poker world.

PokerStars;

--  Has dealt over 29 billion hands
--  Has run more than 170 million poker tournaments
--  Has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for holding the largest
    online poker tournament -- 35,000 players
--  Has had over 265,000 simultaneous players, and entered the Guinness
    Book of World Records as the first and only poker website to reach the
    200,000 simultaneous players mark
    

PokerStars is the official sponsor of the: European Poker Tour (www.ept.com), PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Latin American Poker Tour (www.lapt.com), Asia Pacific Poker Tour (www.appt.com) and The World Cup of Poker. PokerStars is the home of Team PokerStars Pro, a group of over 30 veteran and up-and-coming players from around the world who play online at PokerStars and are sponsored by the site in international tournaments around the world. For more information please visit www.pokerstars.net.

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