WSOP Europe returns with $20M in guarantees, 11 gold-bracelet events

Kevin MacPhee won the 2015 WSOP Europe main event in Berlin. WSOP

After a one-year hiatus from the poker calendar, the World Series of Poker Europe has returned in its most ambitious effort to date.

WSOPE 2017 features 11 gold-bracelet events between Oct. 19 and Nov. 10 as part of a larger WSOP festival at the King's Casino Rozvadov in the Czech Republic. A WSOP circuit stop kicks off the festivities on Sept. 28, and the festival as a whole stretches on for 44 days with more than $20 million in prize pool guarantees.

The bracelet events kick off with an €1,100 version of the WSOP's "Monster Stack" event with three starting flights, and a €550 version of the WSOP Colossus that carries a €2 million guarantee with an eye toward setting the record for largest live tournament field in European history. The schedule is otherwise similar to previous iterations of WSOP Europe with one major exception -- the inclusion of a €111,111 High Roller for One Drop, paralleling it's Las Vegas counterpart. That tournament alone, with a field capped at 111 players, carries a €10 million guarantee.

The €10,300 WSOPE main event, which has a €4 million guaranteed prize pool with two starting flights and the option for one re-entry, will close out the festival on Nov. 10.

"I’m so proud that that the WSOP Europe is coming to King’s," said King's Casino Rozvadov owner Leon Tsoukernik. "I started off with a dream and my dream has come true and I hope poker players have their dreams come true, too, when they see the sheer size and facilities of King's. With the awarding of WSOP gold bracelets, we have brought a huge piece of Las Vegas to Europe and we aim to deliver Vegas standards with this event, too."

With a tournament that's been held in London, Cannes -- just outside of Paris -- and most recently in Berlin, the goal appears to be a more consistent location going forward.

"WSOP Europe has struggled to find a permanent home since debuting in 2007 because we could never really find the venue or partner to replicate what we have in Las Vegas," said WSOP executive director Ty Stewart. "But I truly believe in Leon’s vision, his passion and King’s Casino to execute the best WSOP Europe to date. We are bullish in this becoming the European equivalent of the WSOP in Las Vegas, something we have always dreamed of doing when we first began our foray into Europe a decade ago."

WSOPE 2015 featured 10 bracelet events at the Spielbank Casino in Berlin, with Kevin MacPhee taking home €883,000 for winning the main event. Previous main-event winners include Phil Hellmuth (2012), Annette Obrestad (2007), John Juanda (2008) and Barry Shulman (2009).

The traditional World Series of Poker in Las Vegas begins on May 31 and features 74 bracelet events.