EPT To Be Rebranded As The PokerStars ChampionshipAugust 25, 2016 10:56 am
Since it began in 2004, the European Poker Tour has grown into one of the world’s most popular tournament series, with the PokerStars owned brand now into its thirteenth season of operation. This, however, will now be the EPT’s last run, at least in name, after PokerStars announced it would be rebranding the tour as two separate events, namely the PokerStars Championship and the PokerStars Festival.
The development would seem to reflect a desire by PokerStars to emulate the example of other competing tours which offer players both a “major” and a “minor” circuit, including the WSOP and its WSOP Circuit, and the WPT and its WPT National stops. For the EPT, the series will subsequently be split into a major tour called the PokerStars Championship, and a minor one called the PokerStars Festival.
Of course, PokerStars will also be able to bring a greater level of recognition to its brand by renaming and reorganizing the EPT, and commenting on the surprising development announced from the EPT Barcelona currently underway in Spain, a company press release stated:
“With the European Poker Tour (EPT) outgrowing its European borders, PokerStars is making its biggest live events even bigger, by encompassing key PokerStars sponsored events from around the world and bringing players worldwide the much-loved EPT experience.”
At the beginning of each year, poker fans usually look forward to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), but now January 2017 will mark the kick-off of the PokerStars Championship Bahamas, with other later stops on the Championship tour including major cities such as Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Macau and Panama. These tours will last for up to 11 days, and feature as many as 100 tournaments. The PokerStars Festival, on the other hand, will have a more “regional feel” and “will replace some of the more out-of-the-way EPT stops.” They are also expected to be a week-long affair.
While the decision to rebrand such a popular tour would not have been taken lightly by PokerStars, the benefits are readily apparent when one considers the extensive and confusing number of events currently sponsored by the operator. In addition to the EPT, other examples include the LAPT, UKIPT, APPT, ANZPT, IPT, FPS, BSOP, EUREKA, Aussie Millions, and Estrellas Poker Tour.