PokerStars Postpones EPT Sochi as Russia’s Military Operations in Ukraine Continue
On the 24th of February, Russia launched what many experts believe is the biggest military operation in Europe since World War II. As a result, PokerStars has decided to postpone EPT Sochi.
EPT Sochi was planned to take place in the last two weeks of March, but it was canceled after short deliberation by the organizers.
The security situation in the region is too dangerous for any kind of live sporting events, including poker tournaments.
Furthermore, almost all of Europe and countries worldwide are sanctioning Russia for its actions towards Ukraine.
The city of Sochi has hosted many big events in the last decade, including the Winter Olympics in 2014 and the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
It's definitely a sad day for all poker lovers, as Sochi has become one of the favorite stops on the EPT tour.
The EPT Sochi tournament schedule gave players a chance to compete in the Main Event as well as High Roller tournaments and, of course, the Sochi Cup.
PokerStars Still Hopeful the Event Will Take Place
According to the latest reports, it seems that PokerStars still plans to hold the event this year. The spokesperson for the company has said that they plan to schedule the tournament for October.
Scheduling the event only eight months from now at this point seems quite optimistic if we consider everything that has been happening in the last few days.
The players that have already bought tickets for the event can contact PokerStars, and the company has confirmed that the entries will be replaced or reimbursed.
What Is Next for the Region?
As one of many sanctions towards the country, Europe has banned Russia from hosting all sporting competitions until further notice.
Furthermore, all national teams are banned from international competitions, and the same is true for Russian clubs.
This includes UEFA canceling the Champion League's final that was supposed to take place in St.Petersburg, Formula 1 withdrawing from Russia, and the countries ban from the Eurosong contest.
Individual athletes are also boycotting Russian leagues and leaving the clubs and the country. One of the organizations that have been hit the hardest is the basketball club CSKA from Moscow.
Along with Zenit and Unics Kazan, the club has been thrown out of the Euroleague. Many of their star players have already left Russia.
When it comes to poker events, all of the planned poker tournaments in Russia and Ukraine have been canceled. The security situation is getting worse every day, and all of Europe has been shaken.
Many regular lines of transport in the eastern part of the continent have been canceled. This will definitely have an impact even on those tournaments that are taking place in nearby countries not directly involved in the war.