The Casino de Monte-Carlo is perhaps one of the grandest, and perhaps the oldest, casinos around the world. This 158-years-old gambling and entertainment complex has a lot to offer, such as hundreds of casino games, the popular Opéra de Monte-Carlo, and a classical ballet company.
With its grandiose amenities, no wonder why the Casino de Monte-Carlo is always included in the world’s best and is also a popular venue for various concerts and shows, as well as gambling tournaments. One of which is the European Poker Tour (EPT).
Overview of Monte Carlo poker events
Considered Europe’s historical gambling capital, Monte Carlo takes a swing as the annual host to the continent’s one of the most popular poker events in springtime – the EPT. Ten out of the first 11 Grand Finals for the event were held here, which also awards some of the richest awards of the era. That includes the €2.3 million awarded to Pieter de Korver in 2009, which is the biggest single score at any EPT event.
The legendary Season 9 tournaments also happened here, producing the main poker event’s best final table in the history of European poker games.
The EPT tournaments held here are invariably well attended by players throughout the continent, which includes the €100,000 entry Super High Roller event. The limits also rise high in the cash game area as well.
On the other hand, a part of the famed Monte Carlo Bay Resort and Hotel, the Salle des Etoiles in Sporting Club, is perhaps the most extravagant tournament room in the poker world.
All of that is found in one of Europe’s most fascinating gambling locations, Monte Carlo.
What is EPT?
The European Poker Tour is the European version of the World Poker Tour (WPT). It is a series of poker tournaments that was established by John Duthie, a former winner of the inaugural Poker Million Tournament.
It started in 2004 during the worldwide popularity of Texas Hold ‘em. PokerStars took over the control and grabbed full ownership of the EPT, while it is being taped by the Sunset + Vine for its TV broadcast throughout Europe.
In the first 3 seasons, the difference among the competing poker tours was the buy-in and the effect it had on the prize pool, where the EPT features buy-ins around half as much as the WPT. This changed when the 4th season commenced. Due to the increased popularity and the lack of space among participating casinos, the buy-ins for EPT events had increased to €8,000. Also, they also increased the number of players in the final table to 8, in comparison to the 6 players popularized by the WPT.
EPT in Monaco
Indeed, Monte Carlo is one of the best hosts for the EPT events. Not only do they have a conducive atmosphere and picturesque locations, but they also offer different types of poker tournaments.
As mentioned earlier, one of the highest stakes that were won in the 2019 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo Casino was by Sergio Aido of the €100,000 entry Super High Roller, claiming the title and the €1, 589, 190 prizes.
That, and many more grand gambling events held in Monte Carlo, is what proves that this Monaco city is one of the best gambling destinations around the world. Also, if you failed to join and witness these events before, you still have a chance as they host the EPT events annually. Though tournaments were frequently canceled recently due to the quarantine restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Uncanny gambling rule in Monaco
Amidst all the grandeur and extravagance of this Monaco city, native locals are prohibited by their gambling laws to play or gamble in these casinos.
Yes, you heard it right! While Monte Carlo has been long associated with high-gambling stakes and picturesque casinos, if you’re a native citizen, you may find yourself in conflict with the law if you try to play any gambling games, including poker.
However, the law may be quite relaxed among the casino employees who should obviously be allowed to enter the buildings. The government believes they shouldn’t allow Monegasques to gamble their money away and just prefer their visitors do that to still be able to generate income.
Though you have to take note that only about 6,000 Monaco citizens are considered native out of their 35,000 residents. Hence, about 80 percent of their population are foreign nationals who are allowed to gamble.
When you look up for the best gambling destinations around the world, Monte Carlo will surely be included at the top. With the combination of rich historical background, beautiful natural and man-made infrastructures, as well as significantly high pot prizes, you’ll surely enjoy Monte Carlo. Hence, Monaco should be included on your bucket list, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic.