The EPT is visiting Deauville, France and I wanted to tell you all why it's my favorite stop on the tour. I love Deauville because it's a very peaceful town, especially in winter. In summer, it's a busy sea resort in the north of France, but in winter it's actually quite empty. It seems like poker players are the only people around. I don't like crowds, so this small, tranquil village is perfect for me. If you're an 18 year-old poker player who loves to party, it might not be the ideal spot, but if you're looking for a more relaxing time, you should definitely try it out.
The architecture in the village is gorgeous--old wooden houses accented with Tudor beams. While the town isn't exactly modern, it has recently been refurbished. The casino is beautiful and spacious and the two hotels nearby are also very nice and offer excellent food. Deauville has a huge beach, and although you won't get much of a tan this time of year, I love taking long walks near the sea. Last year there was snow also, which doesn't usually happen. While you're out there, it's easy to imagine the beach busy and full of tourists in the summer, but in the winter it is completely different. The sea in winter is a special place and I like it because it's so peaceful. It's a nice change of pace.
Another great thing about EPT Deauville is the soft field. It's definitely one of the juicier stops on the tour and the players that come... let's just say they have a lot of imagination! However, there is a rule everyone should be aware of during the tournament. French gaming law says you cannot raise less than double the previous bet. Nowadays it's quite popular to open for a min-raise to 1,000, three-bet to 2,200, and four-bet to 3,500. You are not allowed to do that in Deauville--your four-bet in that case would have to be 4,400. This is something new players should remember when coming here, but it's so worth it to come because of the big field and huge prize pool. Poker in France is extremely popular and it's not that difficult to go deep in this event and win a nice prize.
I can also offer a few tips on how to get here without it costing a fortune. Your best bet is to fly into Paris. Take the train from the airport into the city and then take the underground to St. Lazare station. From there you can get a train to Deauville. The direct train runs three times a day and there are a few more departures that have only one stop. Taking the train from Paris to EPT Deauville has become a ritual for me. Last year I went with a friend and we played poker on the whole journey. Of course, if you're a high-stakes player you could take a taxi or fly your own helicopter if you wish. But I'm going to stick with the train.
Hope to see you next time in Deauville!
Marcin Horecki is a member of Team PokerStars Pro