- Andrew Feldman, ESPN.com
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After four years of competition at the Casino of the Empire in London, the World Series of Poker Europe is moving to France. The WSOP announced Wednesday that the 2011 WSOP Europe will take place Oct. 7-21 at the Casino Barrière de Cannes Croisette and the Hôtel Majestic Barrière. The new venue will feature 75 tables, which will offer double the capacity that the event had in 2010.
"This is a unique agreement between two casino leaders with great brands," said Mitch Garber of Caesars Interactive Entertainment. "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."
As Garber mentioned, this is anything but an ordinary agreement given the variety of locations and platforms affected. In addition to the change in venues, the two companies have teamed up to create a poker tour in France, the Barrière Poker Tour. Starting in April, there will be seven stops of the tour held at Toulouse, Nice, Lille, Dinard, Enghien, Trouville and Bordeaux. The tour will finally turn to Cannes for the WSOPE as its final stop of 2011.
"The Lucien Barriere Hôtels & Casinos, BarrierePoker.fr and WSOP alliance allows us to put on an outstanding tournament hosted by a world famous brand in France while positioning us to become a leading operator of both online and live poker," said Eric Cavillon, operations director in charge of poker development at Lucien Barrière Hôtels & Casinos.
The third major aspect of this partnership is the creation of WSOP.fr, a real-money online poker site available to residents of France. It will be a skin of BarrierePoker.fr, which is currently available, and the two sites will integrate the WSOP into their platform and offer satellites into the WSOP.
The 2011 WSOP Europe will offer seven events, which means two more bracelets will be awarded overseas in comparison to 2010.