Into the lions' den
Here we are then: Copenhagen. Welcome to the capital of Denmark for the Scandinavian Open, the latest leg of the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour (EPT).
In tourists' terms, this is a wonderful city. Canals, statues, parks, fountains and fairytales, all glimpsed through the amber glow of a pint of Carlsberg. By midnight - and with several glasses drained - the little mermaids are known to come alive. Probably.
In poker terms, things aren't quite so sedate. Of the 36 seats available around the final tables of the four previous EPT events this season, 14 have been filled by players from Denmark, Finland, Norway or Sweden. These players have taken home more than €1,5 million, including two outright titles. Patrick Antonius followed up his third place in Barcelona with a win in Baden, while Mats Gavatin scooped the big one in Dublin. This year, the Nordics mean business. And now here we are: right at the heart of the hornets' nest and poking it with sticks.
Play starts at 3pm Thursday, Central European time. We are one hour ahead of the United Kingdom and six hours ahead of the east coast of the United States. It's already a sell out - it has been for a week or so - which means that the first 150 players compete today in flight 1A, another 150 tomorrow in flight 1B, before day two, on Saturday. The final table is Sunday evening.
The buy-in is 30,000 Danish Krone, just over €4,000, nearly £3,000 or around $5,000. Big money, in any language.
As usual, we will provide comprehensive coverage of all the action, as well as providing a blow-by-blow account of Sunday's final table. You'll also notice a new addition at the top of the blog page where there's a scrolling list of the latest chip counts.
Please feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or requests.
Stay tuned - the fun is about to begin.