PokerStars Awards Extra EPT Prize After Big Race Antics at Russian Grand Prix

PokerStars Awards Extra EPT Prize After Big Race Antics at Russian Grand Prix

On September 30th, a punter saw his dream of winning an all-expenses trip to the EPT Prague ruined after on-track antics at the Russian Grand Prix in which Valtteri Bottas allowed his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to win the race. Fortunately for him, PokerStars, which ran the Big Race promotion, has a heart and decided to award the entrant a €7,200 ($8,200) prize package all the same.

The Big Race

PokerStars and BetStars, its online betting service, have partnered to offer The Big Race promotion on three occasions. In 2017, Tony Rogers from Burgess Hill in the UK picked the winner at the Ascot Gold Cup (Big Orange) to claim a package through to the PokerStars Festival in Lille. This March, the horse (Native River) allocated to Chris Hopgood subsequently won the Cheltenham Gold Cup to secure the South Londoner a seat at the PokerStars Festival in Marbella.

Recently, PokerStars ran a similar Big Race promotion in which players finishing in the top 20 positions of a $2 buy-in tournament would be randomly allocated a driver at the Russian Grand Prix that took place at the end of last month. The punter whose driver eventually won the Formula One race would then receive a €7,200 package through to the EPT Prague in December, including a €5,300 EPT Main Event entry, eight nights stay at the Hilton Prague Hotel, and an additional €500 in spending money.

Grand Prix Antics

One of the players taking part in the PokerStars organized ‘Big Race’ was Daniel Dohotaru, an avid Romanian F1 fan who was assigned Finland’s Valterri Bottas as his chosen driver at the Russian Grand Prix. Things seemed to be proceeding swimmingly for the Romanian punter, too, after Bottas began the race in pole position, and was in the lead going into the final straights.

Dohotaru’s excitement soon turned to huge disappointment, however, after Mercedes ordered Bottas to allow team-mate Lewis Hamilton to pass him and win the race. In so doing, Hamilton would then be able to strengthen his position atop of the F1 standings, and be in a better position to capture a fifth career Formula One title later this year.

Excitement Turns to Disbelief

While the 33-year old British racing driver romped home to victory, though, Dohotaru had to sit back and watch his own potentially life-changing PokerStars package go up in smoke. Describing his emotions at the time, he stated:

“I was really excited when Bottas had pole position and then when I read what might happen, not so much. I was hoping they would allow the race to play out, but it wasn’t to be. My wife was so disappointed.”

Fortunately for Dohotaru, PokerStars took pity on his plight, and in the interest of fair play and good karma awarded the punter an EPT package in any case. As a result, Dohotaru will now join Roberta Ban at the poker festival in the Czech Republic, the player who had the good fortune to be allocated Lewis Hamilton in The Big Race.

EPT Prague Beckons

The EPT Prague takes place at the Casino Atrium from Dec 7–18, and will offer 30 events with buy-ins ranging from €330 ($376) to €50,000 ($57,000) for its High Roller Event. Meanwhile, Daniel Dohotaru and Roberta Ban have been reserved seats at the €5,300 EPT Main Event (single re-entry) held from December 12-18, and now have the chance to turn their initial $2 investment into serious money.

Last year, the EPT Prague Main Event drew an impressive field of 855 players, resulting in a €4,146,750 ($4,886,751) prize pool. A total of 128 money place were paid with a minimum cash worth €4,350 ($5,126). Taking down the whole tournament, however, was French player Kalidou Sow who walked away with a massive €675,000 ($795,456) for his impressive performance.