PokerStars Women Live Madrid hosts 60 runners from 14 countries

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Sixty women registered today for the €550 Ladies tournament at the EPT Grand Final in Madrid, creating a prize pool of €30,000. Fourteen countries are represented, including Cyprus, Sweden, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Belgium, France, Greece, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Spain.

The nationalities of the players were equally varied, along with their level of experience. Lorena Del Treppo, from Croatia, was playing in her first big event, while seated at the other end of the table was Team PokerStars Pro Sandra Naujoks. In the middle seat was Kathy Hong, a veteran of several EPTs, including the women's tournament at the PCA in January (as well as being the girlfriend of Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier).

For Lorena, who qualified on PokerStars, Madrid marks her first trip away from her family in twenty years. She has three children at home and says she gets to play poker online only after they've gone to bed.

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Madrid, home of the EPT Grand Final

She started playing poker partly as a break from her duties at home and found that she was good at it, and loved playing, it giving her some much needed "me time." She definitely had her work cut out today, but she seemed to be having a great time playing and meeting new friends.

There lots of other interesting stories, including that of Kaisa Soovik. Kaisa is here from Estonia, along with another player, Maarja-Liis Ilus; the pair deciding to bring along thirteen of their friends and make a party of it. Apparently Estonians know how to party!

And then there was Melanie Weisner, who made a deep run in the Grand Final Main Event, finishing in 42nd place, earning €25,000. Today she's deep in the women's event and gathering chips.

Today's tournament will pay six places, with €50,000 up for grabs, paid out in the following amounts:

1st- €11,600
2nd - €7,000
3rd - €4,100
4th - €3,000
5th - €2,000
6th - €1,400