March 2007

31 March

EPT Monte Carlo: Black leads pack

Anyone who has ever read Dr. Seuss to their kid has likely run across "Hop on Pop." I keep hearing it in my head as I watch the chip leader play.These days, I sort of feel like I'm watching a new Seuss offering play out in the poker room. Andy...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Day 3 Live Updates

This post will be updated continuously throughout Day 3 of the EPT Grand Final. Click refresh to see the most recent action.Blind Level: 3000/6000/60010:01pm--The fast drop down to 36 slowed down for half an hour. Suddenly, we're done. The final bust out of the night was none other than Chad...more

EPT Monte Carlo Winners

2007 EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final Winners List1 Gavin Griffin (USA)1,825,0102 Marc Karam (Canada) 1,061,8203 Soren Kongsgaard (Denmark) 610,5504 Kristian Kjondal (Norway) 471,1805 Josh Prager (USA) 391,5506 Steve Jelinek (UK) 305,2707 Andy Black (Ireland) 238,9108 Ram Vaswani (UK) 159,2709 Erik Van Der Berg (Holland) 99,55010 Alex Kim (USA) 99,55011 Carlos...more

30 March

EPT Monte Carlo: Day 2 ends in the Black

"Nobody is luckier than me today."Those were Andy Black's words as he gazed across his chip stack, a virtual mountain range of multi-colored chips. "How much do you have," asked a railbird?He shrugged as if it didn't really matter and he really didn't know. Likely he knew this, though: He...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Chips ahoy

Updated below with news on Greg Raymer.As a whole, PokerStars has been well-represented here at the EPT Grand Final. More than 100 qualifiers and members of Team PokerStars began today. Many of them remain in the hunt as we near the 100 mark in remaining runners. Two of the more...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Cream Rises to the Top

by Simon YoungI don't mean to start a debate about luck versus skill in poker tournaments, but in this instance there seems to be a distinct leaning towards the latter. You see, with the field here in Monte Carlo thinning all the time - we are now down to 128...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Oh Yeah

It's the little differences, you know? When the levels in the EPT Grand Final change, string orchestra music shoots from the speakers like a covey of quail. It's a light--but not whimsical--indication that it's time for the price of the game to edge up. Just after the dinner break, a...more

EPT Monte Carlo: One pricey boat

When PokerStars created Battleship tournament events back at the 2006 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, it was clear that a phenomenon was in the offing. The popularity grew so fast over the past couple of years, I'd often thought to remark, "We're going to need a bigger boat."This year at the EPT...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Dinner break mambo

Players are headed out to their dinner break. We now have in the neighborhood of 165 players remaining in the event. EPT Monte Carlo Chip Counts have been updated at the end of Level 10. Players will be out for an hour while they dine.Chad Brown continues to dominate the...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Hellmuth Exits Stage Left

by Simon YoungPhil Hellmuth is out and, as is customary for the "Poker Brat", he is not a happy bunny. The damage, when it came, was unfortunate as his K-K ran into A-A. So he had a right to feel a little aggrieved, but he did not stop there.As he...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Dodging bullets, baby

Update: This post, though written not too long ago is now dated. Phil Hellmuth, in fact, did not dodge the latest bullets. More to come, but suffice it to say, The Poker Brat is out.Devilfish was stretching. Earlier, I'd heard him call for cameras to record a chopped pot, one...more

EPT Monte Carlo: "It's a cull"

Breaking news: Barry Greenstein, Bill Chen, Vicky Coren have all been eliminatedMore than one hundred of the players who started the day have now found their way back to their hotel rooms or, more suitably, a bar to lament their finish. We now sit under the 230 mark, causing blogger...more

EPT Monte Carlo: An Aussie story and other news

by Ali LightmanBarely 5 days ago Aussie, Jason Melross, was pottering around at home in Geelong, rural Australia, about as far removed from Monte Carlo as one can be. Rather than getting on with something useful, Jason logged on to his computer, saw a last chance $240 double-shoot out on...more

EPT Monte Carlo: The Friendly Table of Death

by Simon YoungI like Tables of Death. Big names share the same felt, eyeing each other up in that menacing "don't even think about it" way. Or normally, anyway. Here, the undoubted table to avoid is actually the friendliest of the lot.Sitting together are overnight chip leader Chad Brown, from...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Day 2 begins

There is a slightly overcast sky on the Cote d'Azur. It's a rather perfect day for playing poker, methinks. I would think our chip leader, Chad Brown, likely believes so as well. As you will find on EPT Monte Carlo chip counts page, Brown finished Day 1 proper with an...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Day 1 in the books

How serious do you have to be to be in this game? Well, apparently, you have to be ruthless enough to check-raise your own Grandma. Roving Reporter Ed Ramshaw spotted this ruthlessness at ElkY's table. I later learned, the man behind the poker aggression was Doctorin2010, a PokerStars qualifier who...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Back in action

On the outside, looking inWith the hour growing late, the players with the shorter stacks are starting to get'em in. We're down to 234 players in this flight with two hours left in play. You'll see, we posted the payout structure in the PokerStars Headlines box at the top. It's...more

29 March

EPT Monte Carlo: Payouts

Total players: 706Prize pool: 6,626,400 eurosPlaces paid: 64Payout structure1 -- 1,825,0102 -- 1,061,8203 -- 610,5504 -- 471,1805 -- 391,5506 -- 305,2707 -- 238,9108 -- 159,2709 -- 99,55010 -- 99,55011 -- 66,36012 -- 66,36013 -- 49,77014 -- 49,77015 -- 39,82016 -- 39,82017 -- 33,18018 -- 33,18019 -- 33,18020 -- 33,18021 --...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Gus Hansen's Tall Story

by Simon YoungGus Hansen is taller than Tom Cruise. Okay, I admit this conundrum has probably never even entered your head, but let me explain. A picture of the Great Dane placed on a poker forum today made him look like a very small person. It was the perspective, you...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Hellmuth's hell and Stoddard's eye

It's hard to pinpoint how this night is different than the last. Perhaps it is because there were a few more players in today's flight. Perhaps it's because a few crowd favorites were sliced and diced in the early rounds. Perhaps its just second flight fatigue. Regardless, though it's getting...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Enormous first prize

If there's anything a player likes to hear after a big meal (other than, "Okay, nap time, everybody!), it's that they are playing for a 1.8 million euro first prize. The exact payout structure is still being worked up, but first prize is a lock and players can't stop talking...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Faces in the crowd

I've been making my way around the room looking for faces we think we stand a chance of seeing in later days. They might not be worth 1,000 words, but I think they'll suffice for a few hundred or so.Jonathan Little, 2007 PCA final table player, and the man who...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Vanessa Rousso OUT

by Simon YoungNo sooner had Brad put up the last past about Joe Hachem and Jeff Williams biting the dust, than I chanced upon Team PokerStars' Vanessa Rousso's table to find her down to small change. A pile of green 25 chips, and a few black 100 ones added to...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Champions fall

Within the span on 90 minutes--one level here at the European Poker Tour Grand Final--we lost both 2005 World Series of Poker champion Joe Hachem and 2006 EPT Grand Final champion Jeff Williams. Perhaps not surprisingly, both players had their aces cracked on their way to the door. As we...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Joe Hachem eliminated

Quick flash: Joe Hachem has been eliminated from the EPT Grand final. He raised to 300 pre-flop and was re-raised by Jonathan Little to 1000. Hachem called. The flop came out QsQc2c. Hachem bet out, was raised by Little, Hachem three-bet, Little pushed, and Hachem called. He quickly flipped up...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Champions in Monte Carlo

With a full room once again, it's hard to find folks here. The good thing is, there are so many big-name players and former champions of one major event or another, it's well-nigh impossible not to find something interesting to watch. For instance, up in the back left corner of...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Big Guns Prepare for Battle

The music thunders, the fog rolls, the disembodied voice of John Duthie comes down from the rafters. Somehow, it seems all-too familiar. Probably because the same thing happened yesterday. That's the thing about another flight of Day 1. For those of us who were here yesterday, it's something we've seen...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Goodnight from Monte Carlo

There are a lot of striking things about the last 14 hours. There have been your usual bad beats, good beats, and beat downs. There has also been an astounding number of broken water glasses around the room. At times, due to fatigue or clumsiness, it's seemed as though walking...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Day 1A's night drawing to a close

Make no mistake, poker is no easy job. The massive field and perfect structure has forced a very, very long day. With 15,000 in starting chips, a couple extra levels, and more than 300 runners starting the day, tournament director Thomas Kremser (among the best in the business) made the...more

28 March

EPT Monte Carlo: The fall of Annette_15

We know that many of our readers here are fans of young phenom Annette_15. Her day her, sadly, has not been as spectacular as her everyday performance. After struggling through a day that seemed painfully card dead, she moved all-in from the small blind with pocket eights against two people...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Team PokerStars neighbours

by Simon YoungGermany's Katja Thater, having "really enjoyed" her table (well, she did have partner Jan on it, too), has now been moved - and is sitting right next to Team PokerStars colleague Victor Ramdin. Katja has around 20,000 - just 900 below the room average - while Victor has...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Level 5 Action and photo gallery

The world's most beautiful poker room Luca Pagano, we hardly knew ye, but know you left in Level 4Barry Greenstein, tired after a long night of flying and long day of playingJan Von Halle, poker player and German blogger extraordinaireHumberto Brenes, reserved as usualAnnette_15 looking every bit the star she...more

EPT Monte Carlo: The little things

Update: End of Level 4 Chip Counts posted on the EPT Monte Carlo Chip Counts pageby Brad WillisDinner is such a welcome reprieve for the players, they run off faster than a fish's chips disappear. We would follow, but with such a large field, only half the players leave at...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Barry's all set

Greenstein shows off his book, a gift to whoever busts himby Simon YoungBarry Greenstein, of Team PokerStars, has been looking tired all day. He only arrived in Monte Carlo late last night, and after a sleep that did not look long enough, he was sat at his table today. But,...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Raymer on the move (updated)

by Simon YoungGreg Raymer had been hovering on average chips for most of the day, but you sensed he was about to let loose any time soon. That moment has come, and he has doubled up to more than 35,000, way above the 17,000 room average. Fellow world champ and...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Dinner break round-up

If you're just logging on, here's what we have reported so far:Raison d'etre: Arriving in Monte Carlo EPT Grand Final set to beginAn Odyssey beginsHumberto Brenes making friendsEarly action and big namesBlack out that noise--the arrival of Andy BlackEPT Monte Carlo Chip CountsLevel 3 News and NotesAnd, because I think...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Level 3 News and Notes

Ending Level 3 now, with half the field headed for a bit of dinner. The chip counts in the Headline box above have been updated with our most recent count. Level 2 was a rough one for Team Blog as we struggled with a mighty content publishing beast. At this...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Chip Counts

Final Table Chip CountsSeat 3: Marc Karam (Canada) 5,120,000Seat 7: Gavin Griffin (USA, PokerStars qualifier) 5,410,000...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Black out that noise!

by Simon YoungAll was going nice and quietly here; soothing chit-chat at the tables and players taking their bust-outs without a loud fuss. Then Andy Black turned up, increasing the volume of the room two-fold... and he's not even playing today.As so often happens, the bearded Irishman, who finished fifth...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Early action and big names

Note: Selected count counts have been added to the scrolling bar at the top of the screen. We're experiencing what will hopefully be temportary publishing issues and will be back as soon as Ed RamshawWith the stacks at 15,000 and 90 minute levels large hands at this stage are...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Humberto making friends

by Simon YoungOnline buddies: Brenes and TaylorWith so many players starting today, it's no wonder nearly each of the tournament tables hosts at least one big name. Take Table 4, where Team PokerStars' Humberto Brenes has been joined by no less than three PokerStars qualifiers.Sitting with the jovial Costa Rican...more

EPT Monte Carlo: An odyssey begins

by Brad WillisTo some it might seem presumptuous to open an event (say, a bachelor party or child's birthday) with "Also Sprach Zarathustra" (thanks, Pauly) aka, the overture from 2001: A Space Odyssey. However, for an event of this magnitude, the thundering music seemed almost fitting. Fog rolled from the...more

EPT Monte Carlo: Day 1A set to begin

Sit with me, if you will, for just a moment as we wait. If you look up, you might think we're sitting in a planetarium. Uneven lights are scattered across the ceiling, unknown constellations on a semi-circular sky. It's quiet in here with only a gentle murmur of British accents,...more

27 March

EPT Monte Carlo: Raison d'etre

View from Monte Carlo Bay Resort hotelI'd encourage you, if you ever have the opportunity, to explain a poker tournament the likes of the European Grand Final to a French-speaking cab driver who knows nothing about poker. Cultural differences and language barriers aside, one would think it would be a...more

26 March

PokerStars Sunday Million Results (3-25-07)

This week's Sunday Million was the quarterly $1,050 event and it was a monster. More than 1,700 players showed up and played for an amazing $1.7 million prize pool. When it was over, the top two players split a half million bucks. Final table results are below.PokerStars Sunday Million resultsBased...more

23 March

EPT Monte Carlo: Must See TV

One of the grand rules of news distribution is to never--ever!--say, "We're bringing you all the news, but if you'd like to check out another news outlet, here's how to find it." It's just not good business to send your customers across the street. However, since I'm not selling anything...more

22 March

EPT Grand Final Monte Carlo Last Chance

In less than a week, this blog will be coming to you live from the European Poker Tour Grand Final in Monte Carlo. This will be the third time the PokerStars Blog has been to Monaco. And it looks like we're going to have our work cut out for us.I've...more

19 March

PokerStars VIP Club members hit the NBA

PokerStars VIP Club members Chris "Skoal" Falconer and osmosis21 recently used their FPP points to buy a dream NBA vacations. They had such a good time, they have given us some pictures trip reports to show you what it's like to roll with the NBA. Below you'll find Skoal's photos...more

PokerStars Sunday Million Results (3-18-07)

Nearly 7,000 people took time out of their Sunday to play in the biggest weekly poker tournament on the planet. the PokerStars Sunday Million. With nearly $1.4 million in the prize pool, the competition was fierce. In the end, a two way deal awarded the top two players six-figure paydays....more

17 March

EPT Warsaw: Peter Jepsen wins the Polish Open

Peter Jepsen is our winner in EPT Warsaw. The former soldier took up poker when he was seriously injured in Iraq, and became a different kind of hero today when he took the Polish Open title. This Danish player always stacked his chips with military precision, and had a cool...more

EPT Warsaw: Live Updates

9.15PM -- Farid wastes no time, he's all-in the very next hand. Peter calls immediately, turning over 7-7. Farid has A-5. The flop is 7-6-9, giving Farid hope of a straight. The turn a 4. He needs a 3 or an 8 on the river..! But it's a 2. Farid...more

EPT Warsaw: Our Final Table Players

Seat 1: Fredrik Hostrup, 42, Denmark - 288,000Frederik "Dynamisk." Hostrup has been an online pro since 2001 and has quickly become known as one of the best multi-table tournament players in the world. As chairman of the Danish Poker Federation, he is a high-profile figure on the Danish poker scene...more

EPT Warsaw: The Final

We're back for the final day of EPT Warsaw, it's rainy here in Poland today. And I expect it to be soon pouring down with all-in chip moves at the final table. Although I expect the dealer might prefer it if players pushed them to the middle in tidy piles,...more

16 March

EPT Warsaw: We have our final table!

A couple more quick exits and we have our final eight.Dennis Plejdup out in 10th, he moved all-in with A-K. Patric Martenssen called immediately, as you do when you're holding A-A.Then we lose our second Dennis. Dennis Bejedal moves all in with Queen-Jack. He got two callers, Farid Meraghni and...more

EPT Warsaw: What did those players have for dinner?

Players haven't been afraid to move their chips around since the dinner break. Of course we lost another one in double-quick all-in-I-call time. Benjamin Kang lost most of his stack getting his chips in with A-T on an Ace high flop. His opponent held A-2 but rivered a 2 to...more

EPT Warsaw: Blink and you'll miss it

It's not so much that I blink and I miss a player's exit, it's more that I'm heading up the stairs, typing up what's going on, heading down again and by the time I get there I find out that we've lost 5 more players. Yes that's right - 5!...more

EPT Warsaw: ElkY OuT

As I mentioned ElkY was shortstacked and getting busy with his all-in push. I was busy typing when he went out, so didn't catch the final hand, but he's out in 18th. We also just lost Paul Kristofferson.Down to two tables, the final 16 line-up as follows...Table 1:Seat 1: Benjamin...more

EPT Warsaw: Quiet hands and loud hands

We're down to 18 players. We lost Ramsi Jalassi. Notable players remaining are Frederik Hostrup, Benjamin Kang, Peter Jepsen, John Conway, Dennis Bejedal, Mikael Westerlund, Andrew O'Flaherty. PokerStars players still in this thing are ElkY, Katja Thater, Roberto Matic, Pryan De Mel, and Marius Skoglund Tobergson.Elky on the button went...more

EPT Warsaw: Cash for Dinner

We lost a few players quickly, and in the last hand before the dinner break Age Spets was the 25th player to go out. Which left 24 players in the money, and in celebratory mood as they headed to the break. Lucask Wasek, a Polish player, led the cheers. "Money!...more

EPT Warsaw: Swings and Roundabouts

My Yorkshire Mum sometimes says, 'It's all swings and roundabouts.' I hope ElkY's thinking that now. I think you're supposed to think it when there's a change, to convince yourself there's nothing worth worrying about. There are 36 players left now, just 5 tables, playing down to the final one...more

EPT Warsaw: Team-mates and Table-mates

Katja Thater has taken a seat next to ElkY, at perhaps the toughest table in the room. It's a table of big names and big stacks. Michael Westerland sits there, playing 150,000. ElkY seems confident with 125,000. Katja looks serious with 40,000. We've recently lost Karl Mahrenholz, Ben Grundy, and...more

EPT Warsaw: Biggest pot of the day?

It started fairly insignificantly. Norwegian, Thomas Mathiesen, raising under the gun to 5,000. Peter Willers Jepsen, on the blind re-raised to 17,000. But then Mathiesen moves all-in. It's only when you see the tower of chips in front of each player that you realise why this is an unusual hand,...more

EPT Warsaw: So long to Sointula

There are 65 players now. I do expect things to settle down soon, especially when we get close to those 24 places that will pay.I told you I'm cursed with standing beside Katja Thater's table and never seeing her in a hand? Well I must have missed some good ones....more

EPT Warsaw: Back to the blogging?

EPT blogger, Simon Young, was one of the shortstacks at the start of play today.He was down to a just a handful of black 100 chips, and on the big blind, when I found his table. He was forced all-in with 2-9, and found two callers both with K-Q. The...more

EPT Warsaw: Where did those tables go?

We get handed a nice printed table plan, head down the three flights of stairs from the press room to the tournament floor, and by the time we get there the information is already out of date. We're already down to 80 players, and by the time I type this...more

EPT Warsaw: Day 2

I popped back to my room to collect something yesterday, and there was a knock on the door. "Chocolates!" Said a pretty girl in a hotel uniform.I like chocolates. So I thanked her and collected two boxes of sweet treats. Of course this reminded me of the poker of Day...more

EPT Warsaw: End of Day 1B

Play has now ended here in Warsaw. 54 players will return tomorrow, to meet the 46 players of Day 1A at the tables. Which makes it exactly 100 players starting on day 2. Interesting players we'll be watching tomorrow include Team PokerStars ElkY and Katja Thater. We'll also follow last...more

EPT Warsaw: Chips

61 players remain, Average chips now 24,262. Blinds are 400 800 with a 100 ante. We're on the last level of the night.Marius Skoglund Torbergsen (Norwegian PokerStars qualifier) 49,000Ross Boatman 6,000Marcel Luske 6,000ElkY 29,000Ben Grundy 27,000Benjamin Kang 47,000Jani Sointula 20,000David Welch (UK PokerStars qualifier) 28,000Sebastian Skuja (Swedish PokerStars qualifier) 21,000Katja...more

15 March

EPT Warsaw: Katja hopes to catch cards?

Marcel Luske is still playing, Katja Thater is also very short of chips. Apologies for failing to mention the Team PokerStars lady. I think I must be a very unlucky blogger indeed, because I've covered 3 EPT tournaments now, I've watched Katja's table plenty in each one, but I've yet...more

EPT Warsaw: Slade by a Giant

I am watching other tables, I promise, but at the moment all the action seems to be on Table 4. I had to head across from the other side of the room to see what was going on, because undoubtly the tallest player of Warsaw EPT, Benjamin Kang, was towering...more

EPT Warsaw: Roy 'the brave' Brindley

Roy Brindley can't believe the move another player made, "Are you mad?" he asks.On a board of 7h-Kc-4c-8h-5h Roy's just moved all-in, and around 14,000 chips sprawled across the table in front of him. It was the player who called him that Roy was asking if he were 'mad'.I don't...more

EPT Warsaw: 'The whole table's steaming!'

There's a commotion over at Elky's table, which is perhaps the liveliest in the room. Mainly because of chatty Ben Grundy, and Nick Slade who also has plenty to say, and who if he were still at school would likely get told of for 'fidgeting' in his chair.I got to...more

EPT Warsaw: Slade by bad luck

Ben Grundy asks Nick Slade, "How many times have you had Queens?""Six," Nick replies, "and won with them twice." He scowls with disgust.He and ElkY see a flop. 3h-2h-Kd.Slade bets just 600. ElkY calls.The turn 9d. ElkY bets 1,700. Slade calls.The river 4s. ElkY bets 2,600. Nick Slade scowls again....more

EPT Warsaw: Chips

We're now back after the break. Playing 150 300 blinds with a 25 ante.Approximate chipcounts:Katja Thater 9,500Roy Brindley 25,000Robin Keston 10,800Juha Helppi 13,000Jani Sointula 20,000Ben Grundy 15,500Nick Slade 36,000ElkY 8,500Dave Gregory 17,000Ross Boatman 9,200Martin Vallo 5,500Fabrice Soulier 9,400Peter Eichhardt 12,000Paul Testud 9,000Thomas Wahlroos 19,000It seems Ash Hussein is out, pocket...more

EPT Warsaw: It's a Zlot of Zloty

Here are the prizes for this 15,000 Zloty buy in event. The prizepool is 4,047,000 Polish Zloty or €1,040,360. It seems the pay-out won't be in Zloty. Maybe because this would be too many notes to fit into the shiny silver winner's briefcase?1st €325,6332nd €182,0633rd €109,2384th €78,0275th €64,5026th €50,9787th €40,5748th...more

EPT Warsaw: Dinner break

Some news for you just before the dinner break. Shortstacked Noah Boeken moves all-in, he's called by an unknown player with Ah-K. Noah's trailing with A-T.The flop is As-2h-6h.The observant amongst you will have noticed that I said our unknown player held 'Ah'. The clever amongst you may guess the...more

EPT Warsaw: Back from the dead

I found Noah Boeken. He's now sitting in the chair vacated by Luca Pagano. I hope this Team PokerStars player has more luck with the seat.The blinds are now 150 300, and with only a tiny stack of chips to his name Noah wouldn't be thrilled to put 300 in...more

EPT Warsaw: All change

I was just complaining that nobody's playing a hand, and when I step away from the tables it all happens. There could also be an element of the 'bloggers curse.' I write about Alexandre Poulain and Luca Pagano, now both seem to be out. I'm afraid I missed the details...more

EPT Warsaw: Table Talk

There's a lively cash table close to the tournament. Barny Boatman, John Duthie and Andy Black seem to be involved in many more wild and interesting hands than those I see at level 3 of this EPT tournament. There was one loud and unusual tournament moment. The loudspeaker came on...more

EPT Warsaw: Interesting tables (and interesting jackets)

Still little to report from the tables, now on a break at the end of level 2. Tough tables so far seem to be these...Table 1: Katja Thater, Arshad Hussain, Roy BrindleyTeam PokerStars Katja ThaterTable 3: Juha Helppi, Jani SointulaJani Sointula: Monte Carlo Millions winnerTable 4: ElkY, Ben Grundy, Thang...more

EPT Warsaw: Poulain All-ain

Alexandre Poulain is a French PokerStars qualifier, who's managed to lose a lot of chips already, but looks surprisingly relaxed about the smallish stack in front of him. Maybe this is because in EPT Copenhagen he nursed a similar tiny pile of chips into a fairly sizeable win? He finished...more

EPT Warsaw: Play begins

Play has begun here in Warsaw, the usual style of play you see when you have 10,000 chips and the blinds are 25 50, players are simply easing into their game. I've hung around the likely looking tables, hoping for some blog-worthy stories to tell. So far I must have...more

EPT Warsaw: Day 1B

It's a grey day here in Warsaw, the buildings look grey, the sky looks grey, and the 100 value chips are grey too. And that's all that matters to most people around here.45 players remain from Day 1A, they have a day off today so might wish for better sight-seeing...more

EPT Warsaw: End of Day 1A

Just 46 players remain of the 136 who started this first day of play at EPT Warsaw. Johnny Lodden won't be coming back on Friday. He was short of chips late in the day day and moved in with A-7. He was called by two players, one with Q-Q and...more

EPT Warsaw: Small Hands

Dave Colclough looked surprised by his own actions. On a board of 2-4-8-7 he looked at the cards, and chips, as if he knew it was trouble, but knew too that there was no escape. It was like he was looking at the cards and chips equivalent of the mother-in-law...more

14 March

EPT Warsaw: Chips & Casualties

We've lost a few recently. Shortstacked Jen Mason made a move with K-8, she got called by the big blind's 6-6 and went out. Also out are Jan Sjavik, Roland de Wolfe and Thomas Fougeron.Approximate chip counts:Andrej Skawinski 8,000Craig Wexler 26,000Thomas Osman 65,000Thijs Tabak 4,500Janne Juutilainen 27,000Tom Schasfoort 45,000Jeff Buffenbarger...more

EPT Warsaw: PokerStars players doing very well, thank you...

Level 7 now, 72 players remain, with the average around 18,000 chips. PokerStars shirts seem to be lucky for some.Simon Young probably didn't feel lucky when he got moved to the corner table. The table of 'Scandi-Doom' one poker journo christened it. Here sits Johnny Lodden, Andreas Hoivold, Mads Andersen...more

EPT Warsaw: Representing PokerStars

Around 40 PokerStars players started play on Day 1A, I've tried to track down names and chipcounts of the remaining PokerStars faithful.4 Finnish players started, and three of these still have chips and hope to 'finnish' the day. You may remember I mentioned a 'Mystery Finn' who was involved in...more

EPT Warsaw: Chips before Dinner

The player's are now on a dinner break.From around the end of Level 5, these are approximate chip counts from the tables…Johnny Lodden 22,000Mads Andersen 13,000Henning Granstad 19,000Ken Lennard 11,000Jeff Buffenbarger 13,000Priyan De Mel 11,000Jen Mason 7,000Jan Sjavik 5,000Dave Colclough 9,000Tony Chessa 24,000Patrick Bueno 4,500Gunnar Osterbrod 15,000Theo Jorgensen 6,800Thomas Fougeron...more

EPT Warsaw: Just a Jack

At a lively table in the corner of the room sit Johnny Lodden, Henning Grandstad, Mads Anderson and Ken Lennard.Johnny Lodden looked comfortable with around 30,000 chips, and on his left Henning Granstad seemed chipper too, chipped up to around the same mark.A raise and re-raise preflop, then Lodden and...more

EPT Warsaw: Black Out

On the button Andy Black makes it 600. The player in the small blind calls.J-3-2 on the flop.SB player checks. Andy bets, making it 600 again. SB player raises another 2000.Andy Black calls, about half his stack invested in this hand.The turn's a 7. The SB quickly moves all-in. Andy...more

EPT Warsaw: Chips

We're on level 4 now, with blinds 100 200 and the average chips 11,623. There are 136 players still playing. Sverre Sundbo is now out, last I heard the Norwegian had a fever. He hasn't been having a good week in Poland, getting arrested, getting ill, and now getting it...more

EPT Warsaw: All the Aces

A big hand at Roland de Wolfe's table. Some raising preflop, Roland, Kaspar Nielsen and a Finnish PokerStars qualifier see a flop. It's A-6-5. The turn an 8. Then the betting gets fiery. Roland passes his J-J. Turn an 8. More betting, and mystery Finn ends up all-in. Kaspar shows...more

EPT Warsaw: 'You have to call!'

Swedes are not just good at poker it seems... Andy Black was discussing the skills of the Swedish Masseur who was rubbing his back. It was Andy's big blind and Praz Bansi raised. Maybe he was worried Andy wouldn't notice?"Someone raised, I don't know who?" Praz said."Well I have to...more

EPT Warsaw: A 'big girl's blouse'

Play has begun and 9 levels will be played tonight. Player's start with 10,000 chips, blinds are 25 50.There are a few interesting tables. Blogger Simon Young is sitting at the kind of table he'd usually like to write about. Andy Black, Praz Banzi and Ramzi Jelassi. Maybe not the...more

EPT Warsaw: Day 1A

The Polish Open is about to begin here at the Hyatt Regency Casino. Play taking place in a smallish basement room, it looks likely that all 300 EPT seats will be filled - so it'll be cosy down there. The players paying 15,000 zloty a seat.It's the usual format for...more

13 March

EPT Warsaw: Polish Firsts and Coleslaw Princes

The Warsaw Streets, rebuilt after the devastation of World War II may bemainly grey, uninspiring blocks, but the sun was shining today, and Andrez,my friendly taxi driver, was happy to point out the parks and statues thatgave the city character.I told him that I was here for PokerStars blog, that...more

12 March

PokerStars Sunday Million Anniversary one for the record books

First anniversaries are a big deal. Whether it's marriage or a business, making it through the first year is a decent indication of future success. A few weeks ago, I heard rumblings that PokerStars was ready to celebrate the first anniversary of its already successful Sunday Million tournament. Over the...more

PokerStars Sunday Million Anniversary Results

It was an anniversary celebration like no one could've expected. More than 10,500 players showed up to celebrate the anniversary of the Sunday Million and compete for a prize pool that eclipsed $2 million. The top five players in the event walked away with six-figure paydays. Final table results are...more

EPT Dortmund: Hoivold takes EPT German Open

EPT German Open Champion: Andreas Hoivoldby Simon YoungA record-breaking EPT field of 493, one of the biggest prize pools in Europe, one of the nicest guys to take a title. Andreas Hoivold has lifted the EPT German Open trophy here in Dortmund, Germany, collecting a massive €672,000 - but, boy,...more

EPT Dortmund: Hoivold wins in Germany

EPT German Open champion: Andreas Hoivoldby Simon YoungNorway's Andreas Hoivold has beaten Christiano Blanco heads up in the very first hand. The Italian moved all in for his last 400,000 with 9-10 offsuit, instantly called by Hoivold. The Q-Q in his hands explained his quick decision. The flop was Q-A-8,...more

EPT Dortmund: We are Heads Up

Sebastian Ruthenberg has suffered the inevitable exit. He pushed with A-3 for his last 236,000. He was called by Christiano Blanco and, not surprisingly Andreas Hoivold. The flop came 5-7-5 and was checked, the turn a 6, inducing a 200,000 bet from Hoivold. He had the trip nines and did...more

EPT Dortmund: Ruthenberg crippled

Sebastian Ruthenberg has been left virtually crippled chasing a nut flush that never arrived against Andreas Hoivold's K-K. Hoivold raised on the small blind to 140,000, Ruthernberg called. The flop was 2-3-10 and Hoivold bet out with 200,000 - called. The turn was 9 spades, making two spades on the...more

EPT Dortmund: Gunnar Gunned Down

Gunnar Rabe has been eliminated in fourth place by Andreas Hoivold. Down on chips - at just 400,000 - he pushed in a battle of the blinds with 2-2. Hoivold looked at one card and found it was an ace. Call. He saw the 2-2, turned over his second card....more

EPT Dortmund: Germany takes the lead

Sebastian Ruthenberg has come from nowhere to take the lead in his home EPT in Germany. After winning an earlier big race with Andreas Hoivold, he then took a huge pot off Gunnar Rabe.On a board showing A-4-10-8-5 with FOUR spades, Ruthenberg, a PokerStars frequent player point qualifier, had a...more

11 March

EPT Dortmund: Gunnar clear leader

by Simon YoungThe four remaining players are now on a short break. Leader right now is PokerStars qualifier Gunnar Rabe, from Sweden, with 2,146,000. Second is table talker Andreas Hoivold with 1,361,000, followed by Christiano Blanco on 1,082,000 and Germany's hope Sebastian Ruthenberg on 457,000.EDIT: Straight after the break, Sebastian...more

EPT Dortmund: Rasmussen out

Jacob Rasmussen is our fifth place finisher, falling for more speech play from Andreas Hoivold. The Norwegian raised to 106,000, saying "six is my lucky number". Rasmussen thought for a good few seconds before announcing he would raise. Quick as a flash, Hoivold asked Lee Jones - calling the final...more

EPT Dortmund: Lindberg busted

Erik Lindberg has been busted in sixth place, a victim of Christiano Blanco. Blanco raised pre-flop, Lindberg moved all in with his remaining 260,000, and Blanco, after some deliberation, called. He showed 6-6 to Lindberg's K-J.The flop was A-9-5, all spades, giving the Swede a flush draw with his J...more

EPT Dortmund: Andreas having a ball

Table comic: Andreas Hoivoldby Simon YoungThe remaining six players are back from their dinner break - and Andreas Hoivold is in jolly mood. The table's short-stack, he moved all in three times in the first four hands. Not once was he called. "Well it works everytime - until the last...more

EPT Dortmund: Two down!

New man at the top: Gunnar Rabeby Simon YoungPokerStars qualifier Gunnar Rabe from Sweden is the new chip leader after busting two players in quick succession. For more than an hour, chips had passed around the final table with no-one seemingly willing to make that brave, last stand. That is...more

EPT Dortmund: Final Table Chip Counts

Final table chip leader: Christiano BlancoHere are the chip counts as the players prepare to sit down at the final table:1 Christiano Blanco, 26, Rome, Italy: 1,258,000TV football journalist Christiano has only been playing a couple of years - mainly online and in home games with friends. This is the...more

EPT Dortmund: We have a final table!

Missed out: Christoph Steihlerby Simon YoungChristoph Steihler has busted on the final table bubble, out in ninth after pushing with the wrong hand at the wrong time. With the last nine players now re-grouped, and re-drawn on one table, he pushed his remaining 280,000 from mid position with nothing more...more

EPT Dortmund: Yeh out in 10th

While I was busy posting about Michael Muecklisch's downfall, Philip Yeh also busted out. He pushed his remaining chips with K-10 suited, and Norway's Andreas Hoivold made what may be described as a speculative call with A-6. The ace-high held up, and Yeh from Sweden, who was second in chips...more

EPT Dortmund: Michael tipped over the edge

Busted: Michael Muecklischby Simon YoungThe blogger's curse has struck again. My tip to take the EPT Dortmund title, Germany's Michael Muecklisch, has been busted in 11th place, sending Italy's Christiano Blanco into the chip lead.It was Ruthenberg who actually killed him off, but the damage was done the hand before....more

EPT Dortmund: Johnny Be Gone

Unlucky 13th: Johnny Loddenby Simon YoungJohnny Lodden must wait a while longer for his first big live tournament win - he has just been busted in 13th place by Sweden's Erik Lindberg.Under the gun, Nicolas Levi raised up to 60,000. Quick as a flash, Lodden, from Norway, moved his 210,000...more

EPT Dortmund: Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Money, money, money: the cash awaitsby Simon YoungIt's Sunday in Germany and the world and his wife appear to have come out of the house for a healthy walk. Hohensyburg, home to our casino for this EPT Dortmund event, is crawling with people out for a stroll in the beautiful...more

EPT Dortmund: Goodnight from Germany

by Simon YoungPlay has finished for the day, and 13 players remain for the big push to the final table tomorrow.Late fallers were Ben Grundy in 16th, pushing with K-3 suited but finding Michael Muecklisch behind him with A-K. Tommy Klurup went in 15th, when his A-10 failed to improve...more

EPT Dortmund: Ruthenberg feeling at home

Leading man: Sebastian Ruthenbergby Simon YoungWe are now down to two tables - and will play the remaining 30 minutes of this level before stopping for the evening. The survivors will then return tomorrow to fight for a place on the eight-man final table.Leading the way is home favourite Sebastian...more

EPT Dortmund: Down to 20

by Simon YoungApologies for the slight updating delay - I've been doing a stint commentating on the live webcast of our feature table here in Dortmund - if you have not had a look at this innovative broadcast, then visit EPTLive.comWe are now down to just 18 players on three...more

10 March

EPT Dortmund: Rush for the exit

Fighting back: Johnny Loddenby Simon YoungAs predicted, after a tight period up to the bubble there appears to have been a head-long rush to the exit - or the bar, at least. We are now down to 38 players, meaning we lost ten in just half an hour.Those we have...more

EPT Dortmund: Bubble bursts!

Bubble boy: Hiroshi ShimamuraThe bubble has burst! The unfortunate man to leave empty-handed was Hiroshi Shimamura from Japan. Down to his last 40,000, he pushed with 4-4, but was called by 10-10. He had travelled here with his friend Masaaki Kagawa to be the first Japanese players to take part...more

EPT Dortmund: No one wants to leave now

We are on the bubble here at the EPT Dortmund - and have been for some time. No one wants to be busted in 49th place, the last before the money positions kick in. It's making for gripping stuff. Who will be brave enough to make a stand?EDIT, 25 minutes...more

EPT Dortmund: Masaaki makes move

Rising sum: Masaaki Kagawaby Simon YoungJapan's Masaaki Kagawa has joined his friend and fellow countryman Hiroshi Shimamura in rising through the ranks after starting today on a modest 20,000. Massaki had silently been creeping up without a fuss - and then doubled up dramatically. He found himself all in with...more

EPT Dortmund: Dilba Dumped

Home favourite: Sebastian Ruthenbergby Simon YoungPokerStars player Dilba Demirbag is out, after running her A-Q, and remaining 50,000 chips, into big-stack Sebastian Ruthenberg's Q-Q. The board failed to bring the magical ace, and the Swedish singer/songwriter's excellent run in Dortmund is over. German Ruthenberg, another of our qualifiers, is now...more

EPT Dortmund: Holden's Final Chapter

The End: Tony Holdenby Simon YoungTony Holden has written many successful books, most notably his poker journey, Big Deal, but he failed to have the last word today. Arriving with just 17,000 chips, he started to gain hope, approaching 30,000 at one stage, but then slid backwards and is now...more

EPT Dortmund: Blood all over the walls

by Simon YoungThe blinds have just gone up to 1,500-3,000 with a 300 running ante, and only 78 players have survived a couple of hours of carnage. Top of the tree still seems to be Mattias Andersson from Sweden, with 230,000.PokerStars qualifier Sebastian Ruthenberg is up to 190,000 while Jepser...more

EPT Dortmund: Wolfe Out The Door

Busted: Roland de Wolfeby Simon YoungRoland de Wolfe is OUT after being crippled with his A-Q v 10-10. The Londoner raised on the button, was re-raised to 10,000 by Ben Wolbers on the big blind - then pushed all in. Call. The flop of 6-K-J gave added outs for EPT...more

EPT Dortmund: Fast and Furious

by Simon YoungWe are only in to the first hour but already the action is hot. Johnny Lodden, chip leader at the start of the day, has already lost a chunk of chips and is down from 101,000 to 70,000. The person scooping them up was Mattias Andersson, new chip...more

EPT Dortmund: Watch the action live on your PC!

by Simon YoungGreat news! You can watch the the feature table here in Dortmund LIVE on your computer! PokerStars has set up a live television stream of the action as it happens at Casino Hohensyburg at, making it the first-ever major European tournament to be shown live over the...more

EPT Dortmund: Johnny Be Good

Catch me if you can: Johnny Loddenby Simon YoungHe has a fearsome reputation as an internet player, but has yet to secure the big live tournament win that his undoubted talent deserves. That could all be about to change for Norway's Johnny Lodden, as he heads into today's Day 2...more

EPT Dortmund: That's it for tonight

Casino Hohensyburgby Simon YoungDay 1B has drawn to a close after a marathon ten one-hour levels. Leading the pack are Norway's Andreas Hoivold and Britain's Paul Gourlay, both with 90,000 or so, but there are a host of big names waiting in the wings not far behind.Roland De Wolfe (UK),...more

EPT Dortmund: De Wolfe's bitter-sweet move

Hungry like de Wolfeby Simon YoungRoland de Wolfe has been sitting on the same table all day, accumulating 63,000 chips. But now the WPT and EPT winner from London has been told his table is being broken and he's on the move. "Terrible shame," he told me. "Had I stayed...more

9 March

EPT Dortmund: PokerStars, Friends Pt III

No way, Jose: NavarroJose-Luis Navarro and Pablo Rua make up the third (and possibly last, but who knows?) pair of friends we have uncovered today. Both hail from Spain - and when they met at a tournament there recently, they both realised they had qualified for this EPT event in...more

EPT Dortmund: Katja out

by Simon YoungTeam PokerStars' Katja Thater is out. She had struggled to find a decent hand all day, and on the promising ones rarely found a positive flop. She joins the rail with Marcel Luske, Ross Boatman and Martin Wendt to name just a few of the 70 or so...more

EPT Dortmund: David's a bright spark

On a charge: David GibbsElectrical engineer David Gibbs is plugging away here after qualifying in a PokerStars satellite. The Brit has lived in Germany for the past few years, and was delighted to make it through. He's on about 9,000 chips and has been taking it steady so far. "I've...more

EPT Dortmund: They're from Japan, to be Pacific

by Simon YoungWe are used to all nationalities pitching up at EPT events. But I'm struggling to remember a Japanese player sitting down at one of our tables. Until today, that is, when two turned up together.Hiroshi ShimamuraHiroshi Shimamura and Masaaki Kagawa may be new to the European scene, but...more

Lee Jones on the Sunday Million Anniversary

PokerStars Poker Room Manager Lee Jones is like the rest of us. He's a poker player. He's a night person. He's the type of guy who can stay up all night. That said, if he's anything like me, getting up in the morning has to be one of the least...more

EPT Dortmund: Fancy seeing you here

Amongst friends: Katja Thaterby Simon YoungTeam PokerStars' Katja Thater, currently on about 7,000 has been joined at her table by good friend and fellow German Michael Keiner (8,700). The pair know plenty about each other's play, so don't expect either to be caught out.Michael KeinerKatja's Team PokerStars colleague Noah Boeken,...more

EPT Dortmund: De Mob Unhappy

by Simon YoungThe Hendon Mob's Barny Boatman and Ram Vaswani are BOTH out of the EPT Dortmund within the first two levels. Barny's two pair was smashed by a flopped set of aces, followed by a critical hit with a runner-runner flush in the next hand, while Ram pushed with...more

EPT Dortmund: PokerStars, Friends Pt II

Kelvin Beattie, left, and James Broomby Simon YoungTwo friends have travelled to Germany together all the way from Australia to play in the EPT - after both qualifying on PokerStars. Kelvin Beattie and James Broom are both from Melbourne and regulars at the famous Crown Casino.And to their amazement, they...more

EPT Dortmund: All that glitters is not Gould

First faller: Peter Gouldby Simon YoungWe've been playing for nearly an hour, and already lost two players. First out of the door was England's Peter Gould, whose pocket jacks bit the dust leaving him with just a handful of chips to play with. He lasted two more hands. But he...more

EPT Dortmund: PokerStars, a place to make friends

Noah Garcia and March Shwartzby Simon YoungWelcome back to Dortmund for Day 1B of Germany's first EPT event. Another 250 runners or so will sit down today hoping to join the 59 who got through last night to tomorrow's Day 2.We have a load more PokerStars qualifiers running today -...more

EPT Dortmund: Day 1A Chip counts

Chip leader: Johnny Loddenby Simon YoungHere are the top ten chip counts for survivors of Day 1A of the EPT Dortmund in Germany. A total of 59 managed to make it through to Saturday's Day 2. For a full list of those, click HERE.1 Johnny Lodden, Norway: 101,4002 Brian Hansen,...more

EPT Dortmund: End of Day 1A

by Simon YoungPlay has finally finished after a marathon Day 1A here in Dortmund. Of the 237 starters, only 59 remain to come back on Saturday for Day 2.We'll have the overnight chip counts for you as soon as we can, but it looks like Norway's Johnny Lodden leads the...more

EPT Dortmund: ElkY busted

Team PokerStars' ElkY is OUT. Morbid details will follow when I get them, but he was stuck on 8,000 or so looking for a double through.Frederik Haugen from Swden has taken over the chip lead from Andreas Hagen, sitting on a huge 80,000 or so chips. Most came in a...more

8 March

EPT Dortmund: Hagen takes control

by Simon YoungNorway's Andreas Hagen is the runaway chip leader as we approach fold or push time for most of the short-stacks. Blinds are up to 200-400, and with antes of 50, there is now no time to hang around.One of the push or fold merchants was unlucky with A-K...more

EPT Dortmund: Brief encounter

Holding court: lawyer Pablo Ruaby Simon YoungSpanish PokerStars qualifier Pablo Rua is well qualified to deal with people stealing his blinds - he's a top lawyer. He's not doing too bad here in Dortmund, either, and has rocketed up to 22,000 after picking up a set."I had 9-9 and the...more

EPT Dortmund: Beever's stack gnawed away

Back to square one: Joe Beeversby Simon YoungHendon Mobster Joe Beevers has seen his 20,000 stack cut in half after getting his kings up against aces. He's now back to where he started, but still in a jovial mood."When I sat down there were three people at the table who...more

EPT Dortmund: Hit it with a hammer

Apologies for the slow updates, folks, but we are having some internet problems here at the casino. Five men with screwdrivers are scratching their chins, sucking in breath and trying to sort the connection out.So far it is patchy at best. But let me tell you the action is as...more

EPT Dortmund: Blacked out

Kings busted: Andy Blackby Simon YoungAndy Black is OUT after running his kings into aces. The unlucky Irishman, who came fifth in the WSOP main event in 2005, had got off to a good start in Germany before finding the one hand he did not want to see in the...more

EPT Dortmund: Praz off to a flyer

Praz Bansiby Simon YoungAfter a slight delay owing to the usual registration congestion (50 minutes to be precise) play is now well into the first level, with blinds at 25-50.But despite the huge starting stacks of 10,000, some players are throwing chips around like confetti. One has now left the...more

EPT Dortmund: Ready for the off

Casino Hohensyburgby Simon YoungNails are beng bitten, trips to the lavatory becoming more frequent, and the nervous chatter is getting louder. Yes, Europe's biggest-ever poker tournament is about to get under way.Welcome to Dortmund, Germany, for the country's first ever European Poker Tour contest. We are expecting up to 500...more

7 March

EPT Dortmund: Ahoy there!

Ship-shape: Katja Thaterby Simon YoungThe soft sound of waves lapping on the sand; exotic drinks and morcels; beach bars with attractive staff; a who's who of poker's finest magicians. Think you are back in the Caribbean for the WPT? Think again, for this is Dortmund, Germany, at the start of...more

PokerStars Sunday Million Anniversary

The Sunday Million, the world's largest weekly poker tournament, has been running now for just about one year. PokerStars is celebrating this milestone and inviting everyone to celebrate. The March 11th Sunday Million is a special anniversary tournament, and just for this one event, PokerStars is guaranteeing a $1,500,000 prize...more

5 March

PokerStars Sunday Million Results (3-4-07)

It took a little extra time to get started on Sunday, but it was worth it. With $100,000 added to the prize pool, nearly 6,700 players fought hard to win the $1.4 million event . In the end, a four-way deal gave six-figure paydays to the top three players. Final...more

2 March

PokerStars Sunday Million: A year of winners

I was just looking back through some of my files and realized it's been just about one year since PokerStars created the Sunday Million. A little birdie at PokerStars happened to mention to me that there might be some special plans in the works to celebrate the one year anniversary...more