EPT London: Two ways to success

Team PokerStars Pro are out in force in London, although the draw has been somewhat lop-sided and considerably more will play tomorrow than have played today. That's also when all the PokerStars Six, or Million Dollar Men, will join the fray, having jetted into the country this week.

Most of those soon-to-be millionaires belong very much to the new breed of player, the kind whose talents have been cultivated in the online card rooms of PokerStars before migrating to the live scene. But people have been playing poker at the Vic since before most of these online sensations were out of kindergarten, and there are several veterans in the field alongside all the newcomers.

Sitting close to the wall furthest from the rail in the main tournament are Annette Obrestad and Joseph Mouawad. Obrestad remains in the record books as the youngest World Series of Poker bracelet winner, a prize she won as a teenager at last year's inaugural WSOPE. She was already well known to PokerStars players by then as the formidable annette_15 and is already a bona fide star of the world game.

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Annette Obrestad and Joseph Mouawad

Mouawad is at the other end of the spectrum. The property developer from Lebanon burst onto the poker scene in this very casino last year, when he became the first non-English winner of EPT London, earning more than a million bucks. It was all the more remarkable because it was his first cash in a major tournament, and yet he also became one of the two oldest winners of EPTs. Of course, we're too polite to enquire precisely how old Mouwad is, but he and Jan Boubli, who won in Barcelona on season two, are almost certainly the two most experienced players to take a title.

Today these two will get to examine the precise difference in styles that bridge a gap of about 20 years. Who will come out on top remains to be seen.

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As ever, and as you have no doubt come to expect, the PokerStars video bloggers are also in London, bringing you the moving visuals to go with these words and pictures. They scanned the day 1a field for their first dispatch from today:

Watch EPT London 08: A look at Day 1a on PokerStars.tv

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour