It’s been a while since the live poker world was as active as it has been in 2022, following two full years of the pandemic safety measures causing cancellations of events in most venues.
Since January, live poker has made its return to many popular destinations, including Monte Carlo, the gambling capital of Europe.
Sponsored by PokerStars, the 2022 EPT Monte Carlo took place at the luxurious Monte-Carlo Sporting in Monaco and drew incredible crowds.
The EPT Monte Carlo Main Event brought in 1,073 players, just barely missing breaking the record the event set back in 2016. The France Poker Tour (FPS) Monte Carlo Main Event, which took place during the same festival, on the other hand, set a new attendance record with 1,918 players signing up to play.
Overall, the festival has been a massive success, bringing together a fantastic mix of seasoned poker pros, recreational poker enthusiasts, and mainstream celebrities like Neymar Jr. who made it into the money of the FPS High Roller event.
Fantastic Numbers from Day One
The first live poker festival in Monte Carlo since 2019 kicked off on April 28, with the first Day 1 of the preliminary FPS Main Event, which featured a €1,100 buy-in.
The affordable entry fee and the lack of live poker in this part of Europe for a long time made for a spectacle, with close to 2,000 players signing up to play the four flights of FPS Main Event Day 1.
In the end, the tournament featured an incredible €1,841,280 prize pool, with the winner taking home €290,910, an incredible return on the modest initial investment.
This was a great way to lead up to the EPT Monte Carlo Main Event, which kicked off on May 2. As usual, multiple Day 1 flights were organized and the cost of joining any of them was the usual EPT Main Event entry fee of €5,300.
While the attendance record was not broken in the end, the event was the second largest EPT held in Monte Carlo, with 1,073 entries. The prize pool of €5,204,050 means that the eventual winner will take home just short of €1,000,000.
With the event now entering its final stages, it is PokerStars ambassador Ramon Colillas making the headlines holding a huge chip stack with 16 players left, putting him second in chips behind Day 1B chip leader Morten Hvam.
Other major events concluded at this year’s stop of the EPT in Monte Carlo included the €2,200 FPS High Roller, which was also a great success, as well as the €50,000 High Roller which was won by Pascal Lefrancois, who took home just over €500,000.
The action was also hot and steamy in the biggest event of the series, the €100,000 Super High Roller, which saw high-stakes crusher Adrian Mateos take home another title and €1.36 million.
The action continued in the Main Event and the €25,000 High Roller, with this EPT being the last tournament stop before the WSOP in Las Vegas for many of the players in the field.
More PokerStars Events on the Schedule
Live poker getting canceled for much of 2020 and 2021 meant that operators like PokerStars lost a good chunk of their ability to expand their brand and advertise at such events.
With live poker now finally back up and running, PokerStars has been looking for opportunities to re-launch some of its trademark events, including the currently running EPT Monte Carlo.
In a recent announcement, the operator revealed its plans for the re-launch of both PCA and PSPC, the two popular tournaments in the Bahamas, in early 2023.
You won’t have to wait until the new year to play poker at a PokerStars sponsored festival though, as further EPT stops are scheduled for Barcelona in August and Prague in December this year.
Players looking for slightly lower stakes can look forward to the UKIPT Dublin festival scheduled for May 16 – 22, as well as the ESPT/UKIPT in Malta, which will be going down between June 18 and 26.
All players looking to stay on the continent and skip heading to Las Vegas for the WSOP this year will still have their hands full with events happening in closer proximity, with further tournaments and festivals likely to be scheduled once the WSOP has concluded.
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