EPT Kyiv Day 1A
August 19, 2021

The European Poker Tour (EPT) Season Six, kicked off yesterday in the distant Ukranian city of Kyiv, with 129 starting players competing during the first of two Day Ones. 

This year's tour, originally scheduled to launch in beautiful Moscow, was forced to find a new Russian location for its first event in a relatively short amount of time once Russia's government decided to declassify poker as a sport in order to force gambling establishments in its major cities to follow the spirit of a major new gambling law which relegates gaming to new gambling zones outside of the major cities and into the more isolated parts of the country.

Moving from Moscow to Kiev may seem to some Americans like planning a conference in Los Angeles and ending up in Hesperia, but actually this is not really the case.  Although obviously smaller than Moscow, Kyiv, or Kiev, is not only the capital of the Ukraine but is its largest city, with over 2,000,000 residents and its own unique charm and history.

The unexpected move surely affected the turnout for the EPT's first event, but perhaps not as much as many expected, as the second Day One- which has already begun today- attracted even more starters than the first, putting the total amount of players for this EUR5,000 buy-in event at around 300.

With starting stacks at 30,000 and first level blinds at 50/100, it wasn't difficult for many of Day 1a's players to survive to see Thursday's Day 2, and indeed 93 of the 129 were able to do just that.

Some of the top players to compete on the opening day of the PokerStars EPT Kyiv Sports Poker Championship included Luca Pagano, "Miami" John Cernuto, Arnaud Mattern and Alexander Kravchenko, and of those players only Pagano has been sent home thus far.

For more information on the first stop of the PokerStars European Poker Tour Season Six visit or the PokerStars blog.

Story by Mark Anderson

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