EPT Warsaw: Polish Firsts and Coleslaw Princes

The Warsaw Streets, rebuilt after the devastation of World War II may be
mainly grey, uninspiring blocks, but the sun was shining today, and Andrez,
my friendly taxi driver, was happy to point out the parks and statues that
gave the city character.

I told him that I was here for PokerStars blog, that I'd come to Warsaw for
the Polish Open, the first EPT to be staged in this country. Andrez, didn't seem much interested in the poker. His English wasn't great and I wasn't sure he even knew the word. My gestured description of the game with imaginary all-in bets, wasn't doing a great job of explaining it to him.

The cab driver wasn't interested in this EPT first, yet another kind of
history excited him. He told me, 'the first park in Poland' was just around
the corner from my hotel. He said he'd give me a map, and at each red light
the car would stop and he'd draw the route I should take to reach this park.
He held up the traffic a few times. He seemed happy when he'd dotted and
crossed the map with each part of Warsaw I should see.

The Royal Park of Lazienki, just around the corner from the Hyatt Regency Casino

The Regency Hyatt isn't a historic place, it's a smart modern building,
with a buzz about it today. Poker players gathered beneath EPT banners to
discuss who was playing in the game, or asking, 'Are you 1A or B?' Not many
had yet had chance to see any sights. I guess they hoped they'd be playing
and wouldn't have free time to see much of the city at all.

Less than a week ago a record number of players had gathered in a casino in a forest in Dortmund to play EPT poker. I imagine flights between Dortmund
and Warsaw were busy this week, with many of those who'd missed out on a
prize in Germany eager to have another go in Poland. They might eat pierogi not bratwurst in the break, pay Zloty not Euro for the buy in, but they'd get chips and cards, and another chance to satisfy a hunger for a win. Victory feels good in any currency.

The Welcome Party

PokerStars hosted a champagne and canape welcome party tonight. Amongst the guests was EPT Dortmund winner Andreas Hoivold . Two EPT wins in a row would be quite some first for EPT history, if he could pull it off.

As this is the first Polish EPT, I thought I'd share a few more firsts from
Polish history.

-- Jan Heweliusz was a seventeenth century Polish astronomer, he produced the first accurate maps of the surface of the moon.

-- Karol Wojtyla was the first non-Italian pope for 500 years, he became John
Paul II in 1978. Perhaps to avoid becoming the first Pope with a girl's name?

King Boleslaw the Brave

-- The first Polish king was King Boleslaw I, he was crowned in 1025. Legend tells of his legendary sword that smight cabbage, he buried the chopped up foe in mayonnaise, and a tasty salad dish was born. His fallen enemy tasted so good, he named his firstborn Prince Coleslaw I...

Ok, I made that up...

Let's forget Polish history, and cabbage based salads. Tomorrow, I promise there'll be plenty of facts to talk about, and poker stories to share. If there's fanciful nonsense it'll be the usual EPT kind, with crazy outdraws, big hands, and audacious bluffs.

Coverage starts at 2pm local time, from this first ever Polish EPT, where every player hopes to finish first place. To find out who makes poker history in Poland just check out this blog.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in