One of the highly anticipated tournaments of the 2019 PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) Prague festival kicks off today as the first of four starting days of the €1,100 EPT National will get underway at noon local time at the Hilton Prague.
The EPT returns to the Czech Republic with the traditional Advent event allocated in the heart of Europe for the 13th consecutive year, and it has always been one of the most popular stops of the calendar year which attracts thousands of poker enthusiasts from near and far.
Since 2011, back then still under the umbrella of the regional Eureka Poker Tour, the tournament has seen a steady rise in participation and went from 329 players in 2011 to a record-setting 2,486 entries in 2018. One year ago it was local player Boris Mondrus that lifted the trophy and took home the lion's share of the €2,411,420 prize pool, banking a payday of €382,750.
History of Eureka/National Championship events in Prague:
2011: 329 players, €231,290 prize pool, Keith Johnson for €58,400
2012: 652 players, €632,440 prize pool, Menikos Panagiotou for €137,100
2013: 1,315 players, €1,275,550 prize pool, Dimitri Holdeew for €226,400
2014: 1,738 players, €1,685,860 prize pool, Balazs Botond for €206,948
2015: 1,893 players, €1,836,210 prize pool, Javier Rojas Mederos for €311,000
2016: 2,031 entries, €1,970,070 prize pool, Hubert Matuszewski for €193,298
2017: 2,117 entries, €2,053,490 prize pool, Georgios Vrakas for €338 000
2018: 2,486 entries, €2,411,420 prize pool, Boris Mondrus for €382,750
*note: freezeout format in 2011-16, single entry per flight allowed from 2017
Until 2016, the tournament was held as a freezeout but has since switched to a single re-entry per flight and a maximum of three entries in total. All players that bust their Day 1 can only enter again into the next starting day. Each of the three Day 1's will play down to the top 15% and the money, and in order to receive a portion of the prize pool players have to bag chips and reach Day 2.
The level duration throughout Day 1a and 1b are 40 minutes each while the turbo heat 1c has the duration cut down to 20 minutes. All participants receive 30,000 in chips and the late registration remains open for the first eight levels, there is a break every three levels with a 75-minute dinner break upon completion of level nine for Day 1a and 1b. As of Day 2, the level duration will increase to 60 minutes each.
Stay tuned to find out whether or not yet another record will be set for the €1,100 National in Prague as the PokerNews team will be there from start to finish until a champion is crowned.