A 12-day poker extravaganza begins today with the biggest European Poker Tour ever – the EPT Malta Poker Festival, presented by PokerStars. In addition to a packed schedule of 69 events plus 24-hour EPT-run cash games, there are several other high-profile events taking place during the festival, with plenty of local activities for those looking for action away from the tables.

HUNDREDS OF POKERSTARS QUALIFIERS
There are already close to 280 PokerStars qualifiers for the €5,300 EPT Malta Main Event and more than 300 for the €1,100 IPT Malta Main Event. IPT Malta is the first major event of the festival and starts today. “The Italian Poker Tour has already held several very successful events in Malta and we are looking forward to joining the EPT for this record-breaking debut festival. Malta is a great destination for poker players. With so much going on, it will actually be hard for players to choose what to do but we hope they’ll have at least some time to explore the attractions that this beautiful island has to offer,” said Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano.

GLOBAL POKER MASTERS
The Global Poker Masters, which is making its debut at Portomaso Casino on March 21 and 22, will involve some of the biggest names in poker – including numerous Team PokerStars Pros and EPT high stakes regulars. Among those competing in the eight national teams are Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer for Germany, Jonathan Duhamel and Team PokerStars Pro Online’s Marc-Andre Ladouceur for Canada, Vanessa Selbst and Ike Haxton for the USA and Team Pro Eugene Katchalov representing Ukraine. The entire Global Poker Masters event will be broadcast live on Twitch - great news for France team member Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier who started his own Twitch stream just over two weeks ago.

EUROPEAN POKER AWARDS
More than 20 EPT events and players are nominated for the European Poker Awards which take place on the evening of March 25 at Hilton Malta (next to the casino) straight after the inaugural European Poker Conference. EPT Barcelona, EPT Prague, EPT Vienna, Estrellas Barcelona and Eureka Prague are among the tournaments nominated, while EPT President Edgar Stuchly, 2014 PCA champ Dominik Panka, Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer, EPT photographer Neil Stoddart and EPTLive presenter Marc Convey are among the many EPT and PokerStars individuals up for awards. The two GPI points-based award winners are Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree, who will receive the award for Female Player of the Year, and the current EPT Player of the Year, Ole Schemion, who will also win the European Player of the Year award.

PLAYER ACTIVITIES
EPT Travel and VisitMalta.com will be helping players make the most of their visit with a host of activities available including tours round the ancient cities of Valletta and Mdina, boat trips to Gozo and Siciliy, as well as horse-back riding, jeep safari and scuba diving.
Joining forces with the Italian Poker Tour, the EPT Malta Poker Festival will run March 17-28 at Portomaso Casino. To watch a short video about EPT Malta, go to: http://psta.rs/1Gxs1TI. For more info about the event, see http://psta.rs/EPTMalta.

Story via PokerStars