The European Poker Tour (EPT) Prague has been postponed for the second year in a row as a result of the pandemic. PokerStars and King’s Resort decided to cancel the event this year as Czech Republic is placed under a month-long national emergency due to rising cases of COVID-19.
Czech Republic Declares National Emergency
To combat the spike in COVID-19 cases, the Health Ministry last week imposed a set of new measures, which include a 10 pm curfew on several business establishments in the hospitality sector, such as bars, restaurants, and casinos.
Those attending public events are also now required to provide proof of vaccination, with attendance numbers limited to 1,000. The government declared a national state of emergency for 30 days as it grapples with the recent rapid surge in infections.
Czech Republic’s total number of positive cases since the pandemic began is now at 2.11 million, with 32,744 deaths. It is now among the worst-hit countries in the world based on infections per capita. Two of the country’s top government officials, President Milos Zeman and Prime Minister Andrej Babis recently contracted the virus. The country also reported its first case of the new COVID-19 strain Omicron on Saturday.
EPT Prague Postponed for Second Year
EPT Prague has been one of the most popular stops of the tour, attracting thousands of players from around the world each year. It was last held in 2019, and was cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic.
The festival was scheduled to return this year, taking place from December 8-20 at King’s Casino at the Hilton Prague, but with the latest developments, players and fans will have to extend their wait until it is safe to hold huge events in the country. In its announcement, PokerStars stated that it needed to adhere to government guidance and prioritize the health and safety of its staff and players.
Organizers are looking forward to hosting the event in 2022, though they have yet to determine the exact date.
Players who have already registered for events and paid entry fees are eligible for a refund, as well as those who have won an EPT Prague package. They are advised to get in touch with PokerStars Live for further details on how to process their refund. They can also choose to transfer their packages and payments to a later date.
WSOPE Continues at King’s Resort Rozvadov
Czech Republic declared a national state of emergency just a week after the start of World Series of Poker (WSOP) Europe. The good news is that despite the new restrictions, the festival will continue, though organizers needed to make slight adjustments to comply with the latest safety guidelines from the government. Most of the events on the schedule begin at 10 am, meaning the action will last for 12 hours a day, in compliance with the 10 pm curfew.
Daily attendance numbers for the bigger tournaments, including the Colossus, will be limited to 1,000. Organizers can decide to add more sessions if necessary. There are no major changes to the schedule in general, which means the festival goes ahead as planned.
The 2021 WSOPE kicked off on November 19 and will run through December 8 at King’s Resort in Rozvadov. The festival features 15 gold bracelet events and guarantees more than €11 million in total prize money, with buy-ins ranging from €350 to €50,000.
WSOPE culminates in the €10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Main Event, which offers €5 million in guarantees. The tournament runs from December 3-8.
The festival was last held in 2019 and the Main Event was won by Alexander Kolonias for €1,133,678. That victory gave the Greek poker pro his very first gold bracelet.