By Joe Ewens
PokerStars Czech-Slovak Poker Tour
It appears there’s no stopping the PokerStars regional poker tour machine. Hot on the heels of the APPT, LPT and EPT comes the CSPT. Or to give it its full name, the Czech-Slovak Poker Tour. This latest excursions takes in the Central European countries of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, two areas formerly lacking in premiere live poker. It’s first season comprises a quick jaunt around the region’s four most prominent cities, although future versions may see it alight at other locations.
The two countries were formerly united as Czechoslovakia but split in 1993. Relations have obviously cooled sufficiently to host a joint PokerStars regional tour. Each main event carries with it a guarantee of CZK 1,222,222 ($71,820) and a buy-in of CZK 12,222 + CZK 778 ($718 + $45). By the standards of the WSOP and EPT, these are not massively lucrative events, but are considerably more costly than anything previously held in the area.
Each stop follows the same schedule, with a cut-price live satellite preceding the start of a main event. Interwoven between the 3-day centerpiece are two side-events. First up there’s a CZK 4,700 + CZK 300 ($276 + $17) Double Chance tournament, accompanied by a standard CZK 2,800 + CZK 200 ($163 + $11) Freezeout. All the events are No Limit Hold ‘em, unequivocally the world’s most popular game. If winning some big money wasn’t enough impetus for playing your best poker, cashing in a CSPT event will earn you leaderboard points. Finish in the top 32 and you’ll be entered into a special CZK 500,000 ($29,372) freeroll.
Just like any PokerStars tour worth its salt, there are plenty of ways to win your way to the CSKT using online satellites. There are daily satellite tournaments held at 14:22 ET, all of which funnel into the $80 + $8 Monday Freezeout final. The winner of this weekly qualifier earns his or herself a $1000 CSPT package. This includes the tournament entry fee, hotel accommodation, and expenses.
You can buy-in directly to the Monday satellite, or win your way there by playing a variety of different qualifiers. There’s a $3 + $0.30 rebuy every Thursday, which is guaranteed to include two seats. If you balk at even that budget entry fee, then a 15-seat Wednesday Freeroll will get you in for nothing. On Tuesday, rebuy fans get another shot at direct qualification with a $2 + $0.20 tournament. A CSPT Friday Freeroll ships its top 5 players off to a $9 + $0.90 Saturday Freezeout, where at least two players will win their ticket to the full qualifier two days later.
CSPT Season 1 (2009)
The very first CSPT got underway in the Czech capitol Prague, where 122 players turned out to build a CZK 1,491,084 prize pools. Although this turnout might seem small relative to the likes of the WSOP, it represents a relatively strong showing for such a niche poker tour. The PokerStars crew continued their Eastern European adventure in Ostrava, where a 23 year-old Andrej Cintula picked up the CZK 333k first place payout. In Brno, an online PokerStars qualifier took down the title, beating out 130 other players. The tour now moves on to its only Slovakian stop, the country’s capitol - Bratislava.
CSPT Season 1 Tournaments and Winners
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