EPT Dortmund: Ready for the off
by Simon Young
Nails 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 players, beating the EPT's previous record of 480 at Barcelona last September, generating a mouth-watering prize pool of €2,500,000. The huge field has been split into two day ones, today and tomorrow, before the survivors combine for day two on Saturday and the final table on Sunday.
Playing today is Team PokerStars' ElkY (Bertrand Grospellier) from France, who finished a fantastic second in Copenhagen in January. Other big names joining him include Britain's Roland De Wolfe and John Shipley (a PokerStars qualifier), Big Deal author Anthony Holden, Norway's Johnny Lodden and Hungary's Richard Toth, who played so well to make the final table in Denmark.
Feeling confident: ElkY
Each player starts with 10,000 chips and looks forward to the generous EPT structure of a one-hour clock.
The casino here nestles in woodland and overlooks a beautiful valley, offering splendid views over the German countryside. Staff appear to have left no stone unturned in offering excellent facilities for the players.
Play gets under way at 3pm local time (9am eastern US time), and we'll be bringing you all the excitement as it happens. Watch out for your friends and family who have qualified on PokerStars, and follow your favourite big players as the drama of the tournament unfolds.