The founder and former chief executive of the European Poker Tour (EPT) John Duthie has been named president of partypoker LIVE, a new global poker tour operated by the GVC-owned brand.

Duthie is a poker player and TV director with more than $3.2m in live tournament winnings, including the inaugural Poker Million event in 2000. He founded the EPT in 2004, building it into one of the most prestigious poker tours before passing over control to PokerStars in 2011.

His new role will see him head up partypoker's series of international poker tournaments partypoker LIVE, beginning with Canada’s Playground Poker Club in May.

The partypoker LIVE tour will also host the partypoker Million Nationals, offering a buy-in of $1,100 and guaranteed prize pools of $500,000 and higher. These will be supported by the Grand Prix Poker Tour events targeting recreational players.

Events in the UK, Russia, Austria, Germany and the US have already been scheduled.

"I have been impressed with the progress of partypoker and in particular the number of trusted, experienced and well respected individuals and organisations that have chosen to put their support behind the partypoker brand," Duthie said.

"I believe there is a gap in the market for an operator whose primary focus is poker and who will listen to, and work with, the poker community as this was something that was absolutely key to the growth and success of the EPT," he explained. "I still love the game just as much as the first time I saw my first flop and I believe this passion will help partypoker LIVE become the largest and most fun poker tour in the world. I plan to enjoy myself immensely working with and meeting old friends."

Partypoker managing director Tom Waters added: "Our guarantees are ambitious but our marketing strategy is to provide value to players instead of investing money outside of the poker community and we are confident that with John's guidance we can optimise this strategy for the benefit of the live poker market."

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