EPT Monte Carlo: Humberto making friends

by Simon Young

Online buddies: Brenes and Taylor

With 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 are Stuart Taylor from Yorskhire in the UK (screen name zpaceman). He sat down at table, and found himself next to the man with the famous moustache. "Aah, I've played you online in the Sunday Million," he said. "Good, good," replied Humberto, "then we are friends already." Friends for now, that is, but both are out to win, with Stuart hoping to better his performances in this season's Barcelona and London EPT events, where he missed out on the cash.

Joining them at the table are Canadian cash qualifier Ciaran Carter (1profiler on PokerStars) playing his first EPT, and another PokerStars man in Piers Whyman from Eastbourne in the UK (screen name megawinner). He has played one EPT so far - season one's Deauville, where he hit a brick wall at some stage of Day 2. "I'm hoping for a bit more luck this time," he said.

Meanwhile, over on Table 25, more giants of poker are clashing. First there is the one and only Greg Raymer, world champion of 2004 and, and he has been joined by Rob Hollink, the Dutchman who won this event in Monte Carlo two years ago. Sharing the felt is dangerous Austrian Marcus Golser, who has a habit of running hot in early stages of an EPT.

FossilMan: Greg Raymer

Spare a thought, then, for PokerStars qualifier Thiago Carrico in seat two - who has flown all the way from Brazil to be stuck on this early "Table of Death". Thiago, who plays on PokerStars under the name Tcarrico, spent 18 hours travelling here to play in his first big live tournament. "It's a long way to come and look who I have on my table. I don't mind, though, because it will be fun and, of course, a great experience."

Boy from Brazil: Thiago Carrico

Also playing today are Team PokerStars' Chris Moneymaker, Luca Pagano (who has unluckily just lost half his stack with a set against a higher set), Noah Boeken, Barry Greenstein, Victor Ramdin and Katja Thater. Phew! I'm glad Brad Willis and I are working together on this one.

Chris Moneymaker

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in