EPT8 Deauville: Final table in sight for Pagano who leads the last 24


While Deauville slept six inches of snow fell across northern France. This winter wonderland looks beautiful, the blanket of white only disturbed by the passing of cars and the odd child intent on sniping passers-by. In the right circumstances it's a happy time but today it merely makes idiots of men who like to wear wingtips and carry brief cases.

It's not just the players who are finding comfort in staying indoors. A robin has decided to come in from the cold, fluttering around the stage, no longer content to be the subject of Christmas cards; it's damn cold out there.

Casino Deauville in the snow

If it sticks around, and can somehow make sense of it, that bird will see some pretty exciting stuff today as the European Poker Tour main event shifts from the conference centre and into the ballroom of Casino Deauville. It replaces large scale practicality with small scale elegance, with chandeliers hanging over a room of rich burgundies and gold. Here we'll stay until 24 become eight, before returning to this same spot tomorrow to find our winner.

Right now, if things continue the way they did yesterday, that winner could well be Luca Pagano.

The Team PokerStars Pro bagged up 3,561,000 last night, the clear chip lead after an extraordinary day during which he increased the size of his stack more than ten-fold.

Chip leader Luca Pagano

"I'm in the right spot in the right way, with the right style of game so I just have to keep playing my game and getting good cards like today," said Pagano at the close last night.

He may not get the cards, but may not need them. He starts today as the man to beat.

As usual play starts at 12 noon and we play for as long as it takes. You'll find all the stories from that, and live updates from start to finish, right here on the PokerStars Blog.