The Pokerstars.com European Poker Tour (EPT) began in 2004 as part of the worldwide explosion in Texas Hold ’em popularity. It is a series of televised poker tournaments similar to those in the World Poker Tour (WPT).
In seasons 1-3, the most significant difference between the competing poker tours was the buy-in and its effect on the prize pool, with the EPT featuring buy-ins about half the size of the WPT. This changed in season 4 when the buy-in for most EPT events was increased to €8,000. (Due to increased popularity and lack of space in participating casinos). At 2007 exchange rates, this is approximately equal to the US$10,000 which is the buy-in for most WPT events.
Furthermore, the final table is made up of 8 players, as opposed to the 6 player final tables popularised by the WPT.
The EPT is sponsored by and part owned by PokerStars and taped by Sunset + Vine for television broadcast across Europe.
The tour was created by John Duthie, winner of the inaugural Poker Million tournament. Duthie commentates for the show, alongside Colin Murray and James Hartigan. The show was first hosted by Caroline Flack, then joined by Natalie Pinkham. Season 4 of the show is hosted by Kara Scott.