New rule for EPT: 20% of players make money!


The 13th season of European Poker Tour have separated poker community on two camps. One camp supports the increase of ITM zone from 15% to 20%, the others are very opposed to it, calling it another step to making poker a lottery.

In the middle of August the CEO of Amaya Gaming, Canadian company which owns PokerStars, David Baazov made a statement that he is stepping down from the position as he was accused of inside trading. This is the other story, which began two years ago after the Canadian company bought PokerStars for $$4.9 billion.

Baazov and his other colleagues were accused of stock manipulations as he made big money on this.

What does it have to do with the tournaments? Actually, under the Baazov’s management PokerStars poker room chose another direction for development: all for the recreational players. This turned out to be a full-scale war against regulars on practice.

This war still goes on. Guess who is winning.

Everything for the “ecology”

PokerStars gave full information about the changes made in their official blog:

 “…we have decided to pay out to all the added players from 15% to 20% between 1x-1.2x of the buy-in. It’s something we’ve been working for a long time and we believe it will cause a positive impact on the playing process”

For example, 220 players bought into a €1,000 Hyper at Barcelona last year. The winner got €45,134 and 31 players were paid out (with 31st getting €1,878). This year, the winner would collect €38,028 but 47 players would be ITM (with 47th getting €1,238). That same 31st player would get €1,921.”

Then the company confirms the fact this move is quite risky. On one hand, big number of players must be satisfied, but the rights of the champions must not suffer. They would like to get big money for the efforts. And in most cases the winners will be the professionals.

Vox Populi

Douglas “WCGRider” Polk who is one of the brightest minds in NL Hold’em has already made a topic on 2+2 forums about increasing pay zone.

Polk himself is 100% against it:

“This is a step in a wrong direction: skill influence will be decreased in tournaments”.

He was supported by other professionals who accused PokerStars of making a lottery out of poker and following only the financial interests.

NEIL0828_EPT11MON_Tournament_Room_Neil Stoddart-thumb-3427x2284-287809

Many people, however, unexpectedly supported the initiative of the leader of poker industry:

“Though the best players in the world think that these changes are negative (as it decreases their ROI), there are many reasons of why it is a good thing actually.

From the gaming process perspective, for example, bubble will happen faster and won’t be that significant.

You have to think about what’s more useful for tournament poker as a whole, not just your own profits,” claims one of the users.

Alternative opinion:

“Many regulars suppose that tournaments are made only for them to earn their living. Actually, it is a perfect ad campaign for the online room. The more players win some, the more probable they will play again. The more probable they will leave some money online.

…Nobody has to think about the pros. It you see the profit in playing this tournament – go ahead and play. If you don’t – stay out of it.”

The increase of players in the pay zone will not only cause decrease the amount of winnings for the top places but will also lower the tournament variance in general. High variance is a huge problem even for the professional players.

What if that happened at WSOP

World Series of Poker also chose that path. This year the winner gets $8,000,000, which is significantly less than $10,000,000 for the first place, which Martin Jacobson received in 2014.

EPT went further. If the rules of EPT were applied here, WSOP 2016 would have got $6 million or even less.


1x-1.2x of buy-in is too small of amount. In most online tournaments, they pay x2 minimum. Even amateurs would not be interested in spending too much time in order to return their money or get minimal profit.


“Some players play poker just for fun and it is a good thing for them to not lose much doing that,” very correct note by one of the users of the forums.

EPT plans to attract big number of new players of this category.

€10K PLO and Main Event

European Poker Tour stop in Barcelona, Spain will last till August, 28th. One more interesting innovation – high roller event on Pot-Limit Omaha with €10K buy-in (in Barcelona, Prague and Malta) and €25K buy-in on PCA.

Super high roller tournament will take place on August, 20-22, EPT Main Event starts on August, 22nd.

If anything interesting happens, we will be happy to tell about it.

All poker clubs in Barcelona

All poker clubs in Spain

More interesting and useful articles from the world of poker you can read in our blog. Also search for poker clubs in the country or city, get to know about upcoming poker tournaments or cash games at portal.

If you liked the article, don’t forget to share it with your friends in social networks.


Hai ottenuto %count% punti
Hai trovato un bug?