PokerStars Blog heads for Monte Carlo

Most gambling cities have some surreal sense about them. Timepieces are irrelevant. The food seems to taste better. Above all, money seems to take on a different value. So, that's why it feels a bit gauche to toss a bellman at the Hotel Hermitage a ten-spot for carrying my bags all of 25 feet. After all, 10 euros isn't going to pay for the bun on a hamburger at the Hermitage. But the bellman's uniform costs more than anything in my generic luggage, so I don't feel so bad.
-- from A Romp Across the European Landscape

A year ago, I flew over the Alps, en route from Vienna and on my way to Monte Carlo to attend the Season 1 European Poker Tour Grand Final. It was the first time the event had ever appeared in the principality. No one, least of all me, knew what to expect. And, even after traveling from one exotic place to another, nothing prepared me for settling down in the little, rich city.

Now, I'm packing my bags and getting ready to head across the Atlantic. This time, I lie to myself and pretend I know what to expect. In truth, no expectation can live up to the stark reality that pops up when the European Poker Tour traveling circus settles into a city so lush.

And so, I pack with no expectations other than what I am sure is on the intinerary. And, to be sure, there will be a lot to behold.

First and foremost, there is the big event. For all the information, schedules, structures, and information about the Grand Final, visit this page.

To kick everything off, PokerStars will be hosting a party for all players and their guests from 7pm to 9pm on March 6 at the Salle America room in the Monte Carlo Bay Resort Hotel.

During the EPT Grand Final, will be running the EPT Battleship Poker Tournament, a $500 No Limit Hold'em Heads-Up played on The event will be played online, but live, with contestants playing face-to-face, laptop-to-laptop in 'Battleship' style. PokerStars played the first event of this kind at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and it proved to be a great success.

Also, I just learned that 2005 World Series of Poker Champion Joe Hachem will be playing Swedish Poker pro Ken Lennard in a heads-up battle. In the past year, Lennard has taken on Greg Raymer and Chris Moneymaker and emerged victorious both times. Now, he has his sights set on Hachem. Word on the street is, the loser of the event will have to put up $10,000 for charity. That should be a fun one to watch.

For now, it's time to finish packing and find an eastbound flight. Non-stop coverage of the EPT Grand Final begins in earnest on Monday. Until then, feel free to browse these thinks for a look at last year's event.

Click here for the Card Player article on the 2005 EPT Grand Final.

Click here for a look at last year's blog.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in PokerStars news