EPT Monte Carlo: Action in Action

It's not always this way. Action can spring up anywhere, after all. It can happen in the back or side of the room. Still, it seems at least geographically comfortable for the center of the room to be the center of attention today.

It's not simply because 2005 WSOP champion Joe Hachem is sitting there, although Joe always draws attention. No, today the mysterious man in the ten seat is the cause of all the railbirding. His name is Alexander.

In the very early stages of the first level, Alexander came in for a raise under the gun and English pro Julian Gardner popped him back. Alexander called. The flop came out 579. Gardner called Alexander's escalating bets all the way down only to find Alexander had called the re-raise with 68 and flopped the nut straight. Gardner, who is now on the rail, told me he was holding queens.

It didn't stop there. Alexander took to tangling with Hachem and for a great while in the first level, Joe didn't fare very well either. More than halfway through the level, Joe's stack had dwindled to less than 3000.

Finally, the tables turned. With two limpers ahead of him, Joe limped in for 50, only to see the player to his left make it 300 to go. That's when the party began. The small blind called, the big blind called, the two other limpers called, and, finally, Joe called. The flop came down Q-9-6 rainbow. From the small blind, Alexander fired out a half-pot bet, and after some thought, Hachem pushed in his remaining 2800 chips. After thinking for a bit, Alexander called and showed a pair of jacks. Joe turned over Q9 for top two pair. With blanks on the turn and river, Hachem moved his stack up to neary 7000.

Mugged--literally
by Mad Harper

Lucky Erik Loisel...poor Aaron Pope. Aaron, from Minnesota, won a seat here at the EPT Grand Final in a series of FPP qualifiers. In February, he got mugged and his wallet stolen. What Aaron didn't realize until two days before he was boarding his flight for Monte Carlo was that his passport was amongst the muggers' haul and he couldn't get a new one in time. Given the exceptional circumstances, PokerStars agreed that Aaron, who turns 28 today, could give his seat to his friend and former co-worker Erik. Erik is so thrilled to be here that if he cashes out, he's giving all his winnings to Aaron. He said: "It's not about the money for me. I am just so happy to be here - it's amazing." Aaron - Happy Birthday - and I hope you're reading
this blog because we're all rooting for Erik!




Erik Loisel

PokerStars Qualifiers from Day 1A

The hardworking PokerStars staff has taken a look through the databases and discovered that there are many PokerStars qualifiers left among the 65 players from Day 1A. Here's the list (with thanks to Russell and Nigel)

WILLIAMS, JEFF 52925 (Cash qualifier)
LOMAS, DANE 35925 (Cash Qualifier)
KARAM, MARC 34425 (Cash qualifier)
MERCIER, ISABELLE 32825 (Team PokerStars)
DAVEY, MATTHEW 32300 (FPP Qualifier)
YOUNG, SIMON 30050 (Team PokerStars)
HAAKENSON, ERIK 29875 (FPP Qualifier)
ROPER, PAUL 24100 (Cash qualifier)
WITTENDORFF, KIM DARLING 23150 (Cash Qualifier)
GLOIER, MATTHEW 22475 (Cash Qualifier)
LANGE, KELLY 22325 (FPP Qualifier)
TORBEY, SAMI 22250 (FPP Qualifier)
SHTRAX, RICHARD 22125 (Cash qualifier)
MAZZA, BRUCE STANTON 21625 (Cash Qualifier)
PAGANO, LUCA 21325 (Team PokerStars)
ZATZEK, DEREK 18450 (Cash Qualifier)
PALMIERI, MICHEL 13000 (Cash Qualifier)
MARTINSSON, TOMAS 6800 (Cash Qualifier)
HROUDA-RASMUSSEN, CLAUS 3275 (Cash Qualifier)

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in European Poker Tour