Although every player dreams of hitting a big score at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, it's not the only place on the planet with a flourishing poker scene. Hotspots abound all over the world, including Australia, Central America, South America, Europe, and the Bahamas-and online poker can be your ticket to those foreign lands. Playing international poker tournaments allows you to harness your passion for cards and combine it with the thrill of visiting a new country.
PokerStars is the mastermind behind three international tournament series that include the European Poker Tour (EPT), the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT), the Latin America Poker Tour (LAPT), and can be a gateway to cities that a player may have dreamed of visiting, but never had the financial means to do so.
The European Poker Tour (EPT) is the oldest series of live tournaments run by PokerStars. The EPT was created in 2004 by John Duthie, an award-winning British TV producer turned poker player. Duthie had a lofty vision of a tournament series with different stops scattered across the European continent. Within a few years, his concept was transformed into one of the premiere tournament circuits in the world. The EPT boasts some the largest prize pools outside the WSOP, with stops in Spain, England, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, and Monte Carlo, which serves as the posh locale for the season ending Grand Finale.
If you always wanted to see Europe for free and play against some of the toughest players in the world, EPT satellites on PokerStars are your best bet. As a writer covering the tournament circuit, I've had the privilege of visiting over a dozen countries the last few years. I never would have visited Spain, France, or Hungary if it weren't for the immense popularity of the EPT.
Although Europe is rich with alluring history and breathtaking sights, the most popular destination for PokerStars players are the crystal blue waters of the Bahamas. The luxurious Atlantis Resort hosts the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), and each January poker players from all over the globe descend upon the sunny tropical isle to battle it out for millions of dollars in prize money. The PCA had always been one of the most popular live tournaments on the circuit and now it's a part of the swanky EPT. The 2009 PCA will feature an expanded tournament schedule in addition to their main event championship.
Perhaps you're the adventurous type and prefer a more enticing location such as the Far East or Down Under. If so, you have plenty of opportunity to explore Asia and Australia by winning a satellite to an Asia-Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) event. The stops on the APPT include the Philippines, South Korea, China, New Zealand, and Australia. PokerStars will also give you a chance at playing poker in Macau, China's gambling Mecca.
The Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) offers up many spicy holiday alternatives with stops in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Uruguay. There are also future tournaments planned for Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. South America is on the verge of a poker boom, and the LAPT gives you the chance to experience poker in a one of the hottest emerging markets in the industry.
PokerStars offers up plenty of opportunities to win satellites to tournaments in lavish locales and in several of the most famous cities in the world. Cash satellites and frequent player point (FPP) satellites are constantly running for the EPT, APPT, or the LAPT. Simply visit the PokerStars tournament lobby and click on the satellite tab for more information. For more information you can always visit www.ept.com, www.lapt.com, and www.appt.com.
Hope to see you in San Remo. Ciao!
Paul "Dr. Pauly" McGuire is a writer, poker player, and avid traveler from New York City. He's the author of the Tao of Poker blog which can be found at taopoker.blogspot.com Feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.