Belgium leads EPT Awards charge for Best Country

ept-thumb-promo.jpgIn a world of super powers, no one expects Belgium to come up and bite them in the tuchus. It's such a small, friendly little country of smiling, friendly people. Who would expect its poker players to engage in such a vicious campaign for EPT Best Country?

Belgium? Yes, Belgium, has marched on the EPT and taken over as the reigns for Best Country on the way to May's EPT Grand Final in Madrid.

The Belgians sent nine of their own to EPT Snowfest, four of whom finished in the top eleven spots. Just a couple of weeks ago, Belgium's players had too few cashes during Season 7 to even register on the Best County leaderboard. Now, thanks to main event Snowfest runner-up Kevin Vandersmissen, Friend of PokerStars Pierre Neuville, and finalists Koen de Visscher and Philip Meulyzer, Belgium has snagged the lead.

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Pierre Neuville

While credit must be given where it is due, the Best Country points system does tend to favor the countries that don't send loads of players to the EPT. There is a per capita issue that has to be addressed by countries like the UK and US. Last year's Best Country champion was the Czech Republic.

Belgium hasn't locked it up for the year, yet. Romania had five of its eleven players cash in the Alps. That country has since moved up to a close runner-up behind Belgium. Yes, Belgium. Not to be outdone, Spain (host to the Grand Final in May) is a close third.

With events in Berlin and San Remo before the Grand Final, the EPT Best Country award is still up for grabs.

Here are the top ten countries and their EPT Awards scores thus far:

1. Belgium -- 18.37%
2. Romania -- 18.03%
3. Spain -- 17.98%
4. Norway -- 17.24%
5. UK -- 17.04%
6. Italy -- 16.22%
7. Finland -- 16.20%
8. France -- 16.03%
9. Russia --15.27%
10. USA -- 15.26%

For more on the EPT Awards and its on-going slaughter by Player of the Year front-runner Fernando Brito, see the EPT News home page.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in European Poker Tour