EPT Baden: Welcome to the final day
Casino Baden: Theatre of Dreams
So here we are for the climax of the season three EPT Baden. More than 330 players entered, building a prize pool of €1,572,250, including a handsome €487,397 first prize for the winner.
Twelve hopefuls are left - five of them PokerStars players - and they must negotiate their way down to eight before we begin the final table. Chip leader is Sweden's Peter Eichhardt on 439,500, followed next by PokerStars qualifier Argyris Argyrou, a fun Cypriot who manages a recycling business, on 392,000.
All players, spectators and members of the press agree this is one of the best venues on the circuit. Staff at Casino Baden have bent over backwards to cater for our every whim. Throw in fine food, drink and even a resident pianist, and everyone is happy.
Play begins at noon local time here in Austria, where again the sun is shining. Time, then, to reflect on some local oddities.
First, I reported yesterday that this town is eerily quiet. There was no traffic in what should have been a Monday morning rush hour. Today, I witnessed what can only be described as a horrendous Baden traffic jam: yes, two cars were waiting patiently at a red light. Had there been anymore, I am sure the local police would have been out in force to sort the mess out.
Helloooo... anybody there?
Secondly, they like their art here. Beautiful paintings adorn ceilings and walls, sculptures and statues await around every corner. Performing artists are in abundance, including the odd site of scantily-clad ladies on stilts welcoming us in the casino. One, however, forget herself, and got stuck trying to get in the elevator.
Going down? Nope, going nowhere
Thirdly, and most strangely of all, we have seen - TWICE - poker supremo Thomas Kremser playing poker. Normally, he rules tournaments with a rod of iron, but calmly and efficiently. He is, to put it simply, one of the best tournament directors in the world. Normally he in charge of the EPT events, but here he has been able to take a back seat thanks to the presence Edgar Stuchly. Up until now, no one has actually seen Thomas play the game himself. Can he actually play at all? Well, yes. And pictured below is the proof. I just hope no one dared call the floor on him.
Turning the tables on Thomas Kremser