EPT Sanremo: Welcome to the Italian Riviera
It is the first week of October and the first day of a new European Poker Tour main event. Ordinarily this means some harmless exaggeration about the beauty of our seaside location, the glory of the climate, the sun-kissed sandy beaches and bobbing blue sea.
But for once the exaggeration is not necessary: Sanremo, our destination for the second stop of EPT season nine, is an absolute picture today. There is not a cloud in the sky, barely a breeze in the air and the locals are busy scootering down to the beach for another day of worship in this most glorious Italian, Indian summer.
Inside Casino Sanremo, the idea is never to see so much as a ray of sunlight again. Players are arriving for the opening flight of what is always one of the busiest events on the calendar, and as ever the target is the build a stack and last the day.
The winner of this tournament will likely earn in the neighbourhood of €1m and to do so they will need to have a stack in front of them for six full days. This is going to be a long one, but players must resist the lure of the sunshine if they are to prosper at the tables.
Our focus will be the main event, where the plan for today is to play eight levels, lasting 75 minutes apiece. There will be a dinner break after level five, and a handful of 20-minute comfort breaks scattered throughout. We start at 2pm and will be done about 12 hours later.
You can follow the hand-for-hand coverage by looking at the main EPT Sanremo coverage page, and below the red line is where you will find our colour pieces, about seven or eight of them per day.
Over there on the right you can see the widget with the latest tournament standings: how many players are left, what the blinds are, and even what is happening in Latvia. Cards are just about in the air, and we'll take a wander soon to assess the field.
Follow the EPT Sanremo live reporting.