EPT Monte Carlo: An Aussie story and other news

by Ali Lightman

Barely 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 PokerStars.com to the EPT Grand Final, and thought, "why not?"

His life has been a bit hectic since then. Jason won. When he had picked himself up off the floor, he had to pull off a major feat of logistics even to get here from the other side of the planet.

"It was quite a rush to get here," he grinned.

Luckily Jason had drawn a seat for Day1B. When I caught up with him yesterday at Table 3 he was fed and watered, and had his game face on.

I recognized at least half of his table mates and felt a shiver of nerves for my young compatriot; smiling champagne-drinking Tommy Dender, from Copenhagen, who finished 17th in the Season 3 EPT German Open in March, Tomas Brolin, the Swedish ex-International footballer, Richard "King Richard" Ashby from the UK and Thomas Fougeron (eliminated).

I might have been nervous but Jason wasn't. He took down two large pots in succession.

Jason, 24, learned to play poker with his mates after seeing it on television two years ago and started a home game.

But while his mates were content to keep swapping the same few bucks back and forth around the kitchen table, Jason read a book or two, signed up on PokerStars and practiced. Now he's doing so well that he's chucked in his old job to turn Pro.

"It was a pretty boring job," he told me, "just office work in a customs brokerage house."

I bet the pay wasn't anywhere near what he's earning now. In addition to his online winnings, Jason's made more than $130,000 with good finishes playing tournaments in Las Vegas and the Aussie Millions.

"This is a good structure, deep-stacked, it gives us lots of play," he said. "I'm just playing one hand at a time."

Jason goes into Day 2 with a comfortable 27075 in chips.

"This is a lot more fun that my old job, going to places like this. I couldn't have imagined this kind of life, two years ago. My mates keep asking me to give them lessons now."

The Ed Report

Erica Schoenberg, John Shipley and Fabrice Soullier have been eliminated.

Julian Gardner raises to 2K from the button and Pete “The Beat” Giordano bumps it to 7K. The BB calls and Julian throws his hand away. The flop is Ac-3c-5s and Pete bets 11K which is called by the BB. Ad on the turn and a check from Pete prompts an all in. Pete gives it up and is left with around 13K.

Greg Raymer has got off to a decent start today. An UTG raise from him was called by the button with the rest of the table folding. The flop came down 9c-8d-6d and a 3K bet from Greg was called. The turn was 4h and Greg kept firing this time with a armour piercing 5K shell. This did the job and the button folded. Greg is up at 62K.

News from John Shipley at the bar it was Andy Black who was the hatchet man for Chris Moneymaker. Chris bet out on the end with a board showing two Kings and the rest rags. Andy asked if this small bet was a stopper bet and asked if could call a raise. Chris said he could not but then shoved in when Andy raised. Andy priced in called with QQ which was enough.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in