It’s not like you need any further motivation to win a seat to the EPT Open Madrid this month. It’s already looking like becoming one of the biggest events of its kind.
It’s in Madrid for one thing, one of Europe’s most glorious capitals. And last time we checked, the weather forecast hovered somewhere around “let-it-stay-like-this-forever”.
Then there’s the poker. They’ll be 20-plus tournaments on the schedule. And that €1,100 Main Event with unlimited re-entries.
But if you wanted to torture yourself with a few more details, scoring a bullseye on the main FOMO nerve, then the activities below are what you’re looking for.
Before we get to those, a quick reminder.
The EPT Open Madrid festival starts on Saturday June 22 and runs through to Sunday June 30.
It takes place at the Casino Gran Madrid Torrelodones. That’s just a short trip out of the City, along the highway and into the Cuenca Alta Manzanares Regional Park.
It’s a stark contrast to the busy streets of Madrid. Cuenca Alta Manzanares is the type of wilderness you can hike up, ski down, or just breathe in.
It’s a place that will supercharge your poker experience. Which might be why they built a casino on the edge of it.
And we want to make the experience away from the table as memorable as possible. Preferably before you get your hands on the winner’s trophy.
Starting with the player party.
It’s on Thursday June 27 from 8pm at Terraza Surrender de Casino Gran Madrid.
The theme is Spanish Fiesta, laid on by the hosts, which means plenty of local favourites.
This is not the plastic-wrapped paella, tortilla, or jamon, of the supermarket back home. Neither is it the gazpacho poured from a tin, or the Bocadillos made with the wrong bread.
It’s the real stuff, made how it is supposed to be made, and enjoyed with views that keep your other senses happily occupied. And before too many outdraw or bad beats ruin things with immovable indigestion.
They’ll be other things at the party too.
Like a chance to try out PokerStars VR, the virtual reality poker game threatening to make real-life obsolete.
While you wait, you can play foosball. Not the ordinary two-player version, but the giant one, played by 16 people at a time.
And while you do that you can enjoy live music and DJ through to midnight.
And if you’re worried about the following morning, players enjoy free water and soft drinks while they play.
That’s the party. But it’ll form a kind of hub for the rest of the festival.
The terrace is a great place to relax after playing (or before if you prefer). They’ll even be a daily happy hour (maybe two hours) planned each from between Friday June 28 to Sunday June 30.
Each night you can try a different local drink on the Terrace bar outside between 8pm and 10pm.
On the 28th the drink will be Cerveza (this is a useful word to learn… it means beer). Then they’ll be Sangria on the 29th, and Mimosa (it’s full of champagne) on the 30th. That will help wrap things up in the appropriate fashion.
And if Sangria and champagne are not your thing, there’s always beer pong, the best game in the world to lose (especially as we provide the beer). They’ll also be prizes for the clear-headed winners.
And if you don’t enjoy parties, or beer pong, and just need a break, you can enjoy a VIP shopping experience at Las Rozas Village.
The service, which is free to PokerStars qualifiers, includes transfer from the hotel to Las Rozas village. On arrival, you’ll enjoy a personalised entrance, welcome drinks, and VIP card. Plus, time to enjoy more than 100 luxury fashion and homeware boutiques with up to 60% off retail prices.
Think of it like winning a satellite into a more luxury lifestyle.
And if you prefer to spend all your time at the tables, all main event players will receive free PokerStars merchandise. You won’t need a trophy, a suntan, or postcards to prove that you were there.
Like we said, the poker likely already enough of a draw for most players, with more than 20 events over nine days.
But if you’re on the fence, or this has nudged you away from watching this from home and instead you want to take part, there’s still time.
Obviously, you can buy in directly. But satellites awarding seat and expenses packages start for as little as €1 on PokerStars, and run all this week.
They conclude with the big one this Sunday. A Mega Satellite for players on dot com giving away 20 Main Event seat and expenses packages.
That starts at 14:35 ET this Sunday June 16.
There are also Spin & Go’s to fast track your way to Spain. They run until next Monday June 17, and cost only €2.50 to play on dot com.
Win a package, and we’ll take care of your €1,100 Main Event buy-in, the six nights at the 5-star hotel Meliá Princesa in central Madrid, and €379 of expenses.
Who knows, you may even find yourself sitting opposite PokerStars Ambassador Ramon Colillas. The PSPC winner himself will be playing. You’ll have a chance to meet him, and maybe get some of that talent and enviable charm to rub off. No promises on that last bit.
If you’re interested in any of this, you can learn more on the EPT Open Madrid homepage.