PokerStars has issued the schedule for the 2014 France Poker Series (FPS), and it contains some big changes from last year.

PokerStars has issued the schedule for the 2014 France Poker Series (FPS), with some big changes from last year.

The stages held at Evian and Amneville have been dropped, and replaced by a stop in Monaco plus an online stage. The full schedule is:

  • FPS Monaco: April 23-26 €500K Guaranteed
  • Online FPS: 18-20 May €300K Guaranteed
  • FPS Sunfest Cannes: September 30 to October 2 €300K Guaranteed
  • FPS Paris 15-22 November €500K Guaranteed
  • FPS Final—Deauville: January 2015 €500K Guaranteed

The FPS originally reached out to less well known towns such as the seaside resort of Beaulieu-sur-Mer. The changes have moved the events to larger, better known destinations, which has worried some players concerned about the higher costs of food and accommodation. The innovation of replacing a live event with an online one has also attracted criticism.

Cédric Billot, PokerStars Business Development manager and President of FPS explained: “We want to create 3 or 4 poker festivals, maximum, per year, in order to create an event for real players. Thus, there will be more time to qualify and larger tournaments with bigger prize pools.”

The FPS has proved perennially to be a popular series. Last year it saw 1095 entries for the Deauville stage, 818 entries in Paris and 559 in Cannes. Amneville was not far behind with 417, but Evian disappointed with just 287.

PokerStars and Winamax are now the major sponsors of live regional tournaments in France, after the Partouche Poker Tour closed in 2012 following a series of PR missteps.

Winamax operates the extensive Winamax Poker Tour, which in the 2013-2014 season boasts over 40 stops in France. It culminates in the Grande Finale in Paris at the end of February, with a €500,000 guaranteed prize pool.