EPT Baden: Ready, steady....
I pity those who travelled to Austria laden with jumpers and coats, expecting chilly weather. After all, this country is famous for skiing. But instead the sun is shining and it feels like high summer. Your blogger was one of those caught out, much as I was in Copenhagen last January when I was the only man in snow-covered Denmark without a coat.
No matter. There could be hurricanes or hail storms outside for all the players here in Baden care. They have one thing only on their minds, and that is poker.
We are expecting more than 330 runners here in Baden, each parting with the required €5,000 buy-in, except, of course, the 60 or so PokerStars qualifiers who battled online to win through to Austria.
We'll bring you some of their stories and pictures as the drama of this tournament, which kicks off at noon local time, unfolds.
For now, the casino reception area is slowly filling with players completing their final registration.
Pianist strikes a chord with the players
The casino here in Baden has put on a splendid show. We have a pianist performing energetically, and three woman walking on stilts - a colourful addition to the proceedings.
... but maybe the elavator was not a good idea
For an hour at least, the spacious card room here remains empty, each chair awaiting the backside of one of the 160 or so players who will play Day 1A. We have Day 1B tomorrow, then Day 2 and the final table on Tuesday.
It's going to be a roller-coaster ride, and you can take a front row seat right here.
Quiet before the storm