UK Poker Players were Disappointed this week as the WSOPE becomes WSOPF! The long awaited announcement of when the WSOPE was going to be held this year produced a major shock with the news that an agreement has been signed between the World Series of Poker and Lucien Barrière Hôtels & Casinos, BarrierePoker.fr, and Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE) to host the World Series of Poker Europe at the Casino Barrière de Cannes Croisette in France.
In a three-year deal which robs the London Empire of one of pokers most prestigious occasions, the WSOPE is now going to be rebranded as the “World Series of Poker Europe Presented by BarierePoker.fr” and will consist of seven qualifying events in Toulouse, Nice, Lille, Dinard, Enghien, Trouville and Bordeaux, prior to the climax of the tournament in Cannes between October 7 and October 21.
Mitch Garber, CIE’s chief executive officer, saId “This is a unique agreement between two casino leaders with great brands. Lucien Barrière Hôtels & Casinos is a well-run organization and we are excited to work with them to access the French market with high-quality and reputable poker events both in their hotels and casinos, and online with BarrierePoker.fr.”
Doyle Brunson, 10 times WSOP bracelet winner, was also warm to the idea. He commented that “In my opinion Harrah’s should change the WSOPE venue every year. London is just too expensive for the beginning pros to play. The Empire Casino is where we play now and it needs to be bigger. The tournament would draw many more players if it was in a different European city each year.”
However, the WSOP web site headlines of “Yes, We Cannes!” was not greeted with such joy by UK Poker Players who could now be torn between potentially competing in the London Poker Festival, the UKIPT/EPT London, the GUKPT Coventry and going to Cannes (which is admittedly warmer in October) for the WSOPE.