888poker and Russian Poker Tour Sign Partnership Deal

888poker is the second biggest poker site in the world, and over the past few months has been consolidating its position in the industry. Following on from being unveiled as the official sponsor of the 2016 World Series of Poker, and organizing 888 Poker Live at Aspers London, the online operator has now signed a partnership agreement with the Russian Poker Tour (RPT).
Since it was established in 2009, the RPT has hosted regular live tournaments across Eastern Europe, and handed out more than $30 million in prize money. Ironically, the RPT has no stop in Russia itself, though, as the country’s domestic law forbids it.
As part of its agreement, 888poker will now offer various online satellites through to RPT live tournaments. First stop on the RPT’s latest season is the city of Minsk in Belarus, with qualifiers through to the April 2-11 series already taking place online.
The major attraction of the RPT Minsk, however, will be the $990 Main Event, which is expected to guarantee the eventual champion a minimum payout of $50,000. Amongst the notable pros already registered to the main event is Russia’s Oleg Suntsov and Dimitry Stelmak, Ukraine’s Roman Pavlyuk, Moldovan pro Fedor Zapsha, and Italy’s Paolo Palmieri. That said, only 20% of the field is expected to be pros with the rest amateurs, according to RPT data.
One Russian pro who has fond memories of the RPT is Anatoly Filatov, who has $1,298,838 in live earnings, and is the current GPL team manager of the Moscow Wolverines. Comenting on the Russian Poker Tour, Filatov told PokerNews:
“My first RPT was in Kiev around five years ago. It was my second live event series. Everything was new, I was excited and a bit nervous and couldn`t wait for the beginning of the event.. Since those early years, a lot of new things changed. The RPT grew in a large structure, and has spread into different countries such as Ukraine, Montenegro and others.”

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