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The PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final, which starts in less than two weeks, has witnessed a record number of online qualifiers, PokerStars announced today.

The Season 12 finale, which joins forces with the regional France Poker Series (FPS), will feature 80 events over 11 days at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort. Among the Team PokerStars players set to compete at this season’s Grand Final are Brazilian football legend Ronaldo Nazario, who is looking to better his 26th-place finish at PCA 2015 and Daniel Negreanu, who is the highest-earning live tournament player of all time with more than $32 million in winnings.

MASSIVE NUMBERS IN MONACO
The €5,300 EPT Main Event field will feature 302 qualifiers, including 121 players who managed to turn just €10 into a €9,000 prize package via the EPT Spin & Go tournaments. The number of online qualifiers this season has already beaten the Season 10 record of 210. More than 155 players have also qualified for this season’s €1,100 FPS Monaco Main Event.

Numerous players won their seat for just a few euros, with British poker professional Ben Dobson heading to Monaco after investing just €4.22. He will be joined in Monaco by 12 other players who have qualified for €55 or less. An additional two players won full packages after victory in the Team Pro Online Week freeroll. EPT satellites are running daily on PokerStars until April 26, with the final FPS Monaco satellite taking place on April 24.

Edgar Stuchly, PokerStars' Director of Live Events, said: “We’re very excited about this season’s finale. We reduced the Main Event buy-in to give additional players a chance to join us and that’s exactly what has transpired with a record number of online qualifiers set to compete in this prestigious event. For all our regulars, as well as all those coming to an EPT for the very first time, we extend a very warm welcome to Monaco.”

DAILY CARDS-UP BROADCAST
EPTLive will broadcast seven days of cards-up* action, starting with the Super High Roller and FPS Monaco Main Event final tables. Viewers can then follow the EPT Main Event from Day 2 through to the final table. This will be the first time an EPT tournament has featured daily ‘as-live’ cards-up coverage before the final table and is part of PokerStars' drive to continuously evolve its live event experience. More than 300 qualifiers registered for Main Event which will be streamed live from Day 2

Neil Johnson, PokerStars’ Head of Live Poker Operations Europe, joined James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton on the latest episode of the EPT Not Live podcast to discuss the change: http://www.soundcloud.com/eptnotlive.

*Cards-Up: 30-minute delayed broadcast with players’ hole cards displayed on screen

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
The first major tournament of this season’s festival is the new €10,000 High Roller, starting on April 26. The €1,000 FPS Monaco Main Event, the debut event of FPS Season 6, starts the following day. Last season, the event attracted 993 entries and was won by German player Sebastian Supper for €177,000. The EPT Main Event was won by Adrian Mateos for €1,082,000, giving Spain its first ever EPT champion after the 20-year-old defeated a 564-strong field.

One of the schedule’s highlights, the €150 buy-in charity event on April 30, will raise funds for the EPT’s official charity partner Right To Play, with a host of Team PokerStars Pros are expected to take part including Fatima de Melo, George Danzer, Vanessa Selbst, Celina Lin, Johnny Lodden, and Theo Jorgenson and amazing prizes up for grabs.

This year’s festival also includes several events making their Grand Final debut, including Monaco’s first live Spin & Go tournaments with buy-ins ranging from €50 to €500. Players will have a chance to win the biggest prize yet, with the wheel awarding up to €10,000 per €500 spin in the three-handed game.
#STARSFUN
#StarsFun activities taking place at the festival include a Multi-Sports Simulator contest with the overall winner snagging an Estrellas Barcelona Main Event package and. The EPT Grand Final Player Party will be taking place at the exclusive Jimmy’z nightclub – located in the same building as the event.

EUROPEAN POKER AWARDS
Other highlights include the 2016 European Poker Awards on May 3 at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel. This year’s nominees include EPT photographer Neil Stoddart, PokerStars' Director of Live Events Edgar Stuchly and PokerStars Tournament Director Thomas Lamatsch, as well as last season’s EPT Barcelona, EPT Prague and EPT Grand Final Main Events and Estrellas Poker Tour Barcelona. Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree will also attend to collect her award for winning the GPI Women’s European Player of the Year category.

For full details for the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT 12 schedule, please see: http://www.europeanpokertour.com/.

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