EPT8 Monaco $25,000 High Roller: Bright stars shining bright

ept-thumb-promo.jpgPoker reporting can be a fatuous business. So often it is statement of the obvious after statement of the obvious, punctuated suddenly by something so thrilling that makes it all the down time worthwhile.

Today's first statement of the obvious is as follows: this €25,000 High Roller event has a whole lot of players in it who would be very dangerous if they managed to build a stack. Yeah, thanks for the insight Einstein. Now tell us what you think bears do when they go into the woods.

But I say this for a reason: Not only is it conceptually possible for any of these players to be a menace if they got some chips, but it has now become literally the case. In the opening couple of levels today, Philipp Gruissem and Justin Bonomo have both been making a charge.

Each of those has enormous pedigree. Last week, Bonomo won the €100,000 Super High Roller event in Monte Carlo, then went on to cash in the Main Event. That's €1,640,000 for beating 42 players in the nosebleed tournament and then €35,000 for finishing 28th in the main.

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Justin Bonomo

So far today he has already increased his stack by 60 per cent, spiking a set of jacks on the turn when in a three-way all in with Peter Akery and Oleksii Kovalchuk. They had queens and kings and were not best pleased.

But that's Bonomo, and Bonomo is hot. He turned to Twitter to confess: "Almost folded JJ pre. Instead I sucked out allin preflop vs two short stacks with QQ and KK. 370k now. #runninghotterthanthesun"

He started the day with 204,000 but is purring now.

As for Gruissem, he is rapidly becoming Mr High Roller. He won the €10,000 High Roller at EPT Barcelona. Then he won the £20,000 High Roller at EPT London, worth a combined €685,000.

His final table in a €10,000 event in San Remo, then another third-place finish at the €10,000 High Roller in Prague seemed meagre by comparison.

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Philip Gruissem

Gruissem can simply do no wrong once the buy-in is bumped up. And this afternoon he is going nuts too, having just won the biggest pot of the tournament so far. Gruissem somehow managed to persuade Vincent van den Fluit to call a river shove on a board of [10c]8♦4♦K♥4♠ and watch his aces hold up. That gave Gruissem more than 700,000 chips and the lead of this thing.

Other news:

Eight of the best
There's another one of those grusome tables out there today, with seats filled by Liv Boeree, Jason Somerville, Faraz Jaka, Phil Ivey, David Sands, Joe Elpayaa, Patrik Antonius and Andrew Badecker. If you can't spot the sucker at the table, it's the guy with the notepad standing alongside.

I suspect we will be going A Round With... sometime today.

Johnny Lodden. Man of his word
It would not be too unusual to see the Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden ambling into a poker room to take his seat at a €5,000 six-max side event. But when he does precisely that at the very moment the EPT Twitter wall shows a tweet coming from @johnnylodden that says "gonna take a day off from poker today in MC", you know something is up.

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Johnny Lodden tweet

Actually Lodden's message had got stuck somewhere in the Twitter-sphere and so was refering to the High Roller event, sent yesterday. But whatever. It was still a funny moment.

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Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour