Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Crowded Calendar

As has become traditional for the European Poker Tour, its season is ending with two stops coming in close succession at Sanremo, Italy then just over the border in Monaco (about an hour’s drive away, I believe). This is the seventh straight year the EPT has done it that way, in fact, ending its season with those two stops with only a few days off in between. Many tourney pros arrange their plans to play both stops, taking advantage of the convenience.

Was writing a couple of days ago about the World Poker Tour’s season-ending WPT World Championship also happening at the Borgata right now. Looking back through the ten seasons of the EPT, this is the first time such a conflict has arisen between the two tours’ finales. There were a few years when the WPT’s last event started just a day or two after the EPT Grand Final had ended, but never have they overlapped. (The WPT World Championship final table comes this Saturday, also Day 1a for the EPT’s Main Event.)

While the dates are such that players could play at Sanremo then fly over to Atlantic City, or play and bust the WPT and get to Monaco, the overlapping of the schedule makes it tricky to do so. Thus many are choosing one or the other, either taking part in the conclusion of the EPT’s Season 10 or the conclusion of the WPT’s Season XII.

Speaking of conflicts, yesterday the European Poker Tour its preliminary Season 11 schedule, with a return to London coming October 8-18 of this year. The World Series of Poker also yesterday announced dates for the WSOP Asia Pacific series, with 10 bracelet events coming this time around. Dates for the 2014 WSOP APAC are October 2-18, meaning an overlap with EPT London with the Main Events of both happening just about concurrently.

A few players complained today about having to choose between the EPT and the WSOP APAC this fall. Made me think a little about my own often busy schedule and how as a freelancer I’m forced sometimes to make choices, having occasionally to pass on opportunities because of conflicts. Indeed, this summer is starting to shape up a little differently than past summers for your humble scribbler, with the additional obligations of farm living adding a wrinkle to the usual plan (more to come on that).

Some of the chatter today focused on the different tours needing to coordinate so as to avoid the overlaps, although I know the factors affecting all of them are inordinately complicated, thus making it a lot easier said than done when it comes to picking and choosing among available dates for particular venues.

In any event, a calendar so packed with tourneys all over does further prove the undying popularity of tournament poker. And the likelihood of still more conflicts to come.

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