EPT MonteCarlo: Grand Final Set to Begin
What's interesting about Monte Carlo, to me at least, is that, although I have been here before, I find myself looking at it as if it is a whole new city. Indeed, the EPT has moved the Grand Final into the lush Monte Carlo Bay Resort. Hip, ultra-modern, and slick, this place feels like a mix between old world Europe and new world Las Vegas.
In a little less than an hour, the first Day 1 flight of the EPT Grand Final, Season 2, will begin. While we're still waiting on an official headcount, it is clear the stars of poker are coming out. Slated to play are WSOP champions Joe Hachem and Greg Raymer, Aussie Millions champ Lee Nelson, Luca Pagano, Isabelle Mercier and a host of well-known online and offline pros (as I type, in fact, Ram Vaswani has sidled up to the PokerStars desk wearing a player badge, so it looks like he is in, too).
All of that said, poker is poker, no matter who is playing or where they are fiddling with the cards. Just a few minutes ago I met FPP qualifier Kevin "AuroraKT" Tennant who is a shining example of how one need not be a pro to compete on the professional felt (more about Kevin coming in a future post).
For now, however, it's all about getting this game off the ground. The dealers are all in the box, the players are milling about in the lobby, and we bloggers are readying our fingers for several days of hard core tournament reporting.
Oh, and because it will get mentioned somewhere if I don't bring it up: Yes, there was a point last night in which I was locked out on my own balcony with no cell phone and a very real fear that I may be out there all night. And yes, Room 316 of the Monte Carlo Bay resort now has a broken balcony door. And, finally, yes, I was in full control of my faculties when this happened. Now, we won't discuss that incident again.
Now, a few pictures before the poker gets started.
Bird of Paradise, outside the poker room
Your humble blogger, being not so humble by posing for a picture, courtesy of IT specialist, Drew
Monte Carlo, from a distance
The cliffs of Monte Carlo
Refreshments waiting tableside for the players
Indicators of the sea breeze
Security in a palm's shade