EPT returns to Paris for second poker love-in on Valentine's Day

Andrew Burnett
Posted on: February 11, 2024 14:52 PST

It may be Valentine’s Day in the most romantic city in the world, but the throbbing hearts in Paris will mostly belong to poker players descending on the French capital for the 2024 European Poker Tour stop.

Twelve days of heart-stopping, red Spadie-hunting action is scheduled for the EPT's return to Paris, with a new venue – the 'mesmerizing' Le Palais des Congrès – promising an even bigger and better festival than last year’s record-breaking event.

To put that in context, the 2023 EPT Paris was the biggest ever debut on the EPT circuit, the biggest EPT Main Event outside of Barcelona, and the sixth biggest EPT Main Event of all time.

New stop, new champion

The inaugural stop saw players from as far afield as China, Brazil, Canada and Mexico mix it with Europe’s best, but who will follow in the footsteps of Razvan Belea?

34-year-old Belea became Romania’s first-ever EPT Main Event champion, storming to victory and a €1,170,000 ($1,250,000) payday at the Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile.

This year the PokerStars’ Live EPT roadshow will saunter up the Avenue des Champs-Élysées for the second time, offering up a total of 46 events from February 14 to 25.

Razvan Belea 2023 EPT Paris winner Razvan Belea won the first EPT Paris for a score of €1,170,000

New venue, new security

It’s not only a new venue that players can look forward to, however, with news that the EPT will introduce CCTV on every single table.

PokerStars’ Associate Director of Live Events Operations Cedric Billot explained to PokerNews: “We pride ourselves on physical security and game integrity at all of our venues. That's why we've purchased brand new state-of-the-art cameras to help us maintain this level of security. Every single EPT tournament table will have its own CCTV camera."

With ongoing theft allegations elsewhere, unconnected to the EPT, this may prove to be the way forward for other live tours and festivals/series, with potential for more than just catching problematic situations.

Billot continued: “It allows us to review every single hand, every single play, every single chip race. It has security properties at first, but the quality of the equipment is so good it could allow us to stream from these cameras in the future.”

2024 EPT Paris Schedule

So, players can expect a bigger venue and better security, but what of the poker itself? It all begins on Valentine’s Day itself with the €1,100 buy-in France Poker Series (FPS) Main Event.

The finale of that six-day battle coincides with the final tables of the €550 FPS Cup and the €2,200 FPS High Roller, as well as the opening day of the seven-day €5,300 EPT Main Event itself.

Multiple live ‘chip race, win-your-seat’ qualifiers are on the menu for those looking to bag an ME seat and shot at glory on the (relative) cheap, and at the other end of the scale, the €50,000 EPT Super High Roller will keep the big boys and girls busy from February 18-20.

Chris Brewer took down the biggest buy-in event of the 2023 Paris soirée, pocketing €959,520 ($1,026,159) ahead of England’s Jules Dickerson and his fellow American Nick Petrangelo.

The full 2024 Paris schedule can be found here while the festival highlights are as follows:

France Poker Series (FPS):

  • FPS Main Event: February 14-19 – €1,100
  • FPS Cup: February 17-18 – €550
  • FPS High Roller: February 18-19 – €2,200

European Poker Tour (EPT):

  • EPT Super High Roller: February 18-20 – €50,000
  • Main Event: February 19-25 – €5,300
  • Mystery Bounty: February 21-23 – €3,000
  • High Roller: February 23-25 – €10,300
Don't miss the Louvre Museum when you're in Paris

Things to do in Paris when you’ve bust…

Apart from finding yourself another tournament or jumping in a cash game, there is , of course, no shortage of tourist attractions in Europe’s 'City of Light' – La Ville Lumière to the fiercely-proud locals.

The most-visited country in the world (79.4 million visitors in 2022 alone) didn’t win that accolade by its main draw, Paris, being dull and dreary: the iconic Eiffel Tower, the famous Louvre Museum (think Mona Lisa), Disneyland Paris (if you had to bring along the spouse and kids), and any number of street-walk cafes and Michelin-star restaurants.

Culture, history, cuisine and architecture combine for an unforgettable experience; as King Francis I stated: “Paris is not a city; it’s a world!”

Online satellites to EPT Paris and other live events are running now on PokerStars.

Images courtesy of PokerStars.