EPT8 Monaco: So you want to be a High Roller?

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So you think you have it takes to be a high roller on the European Poker Tour? Well, putting aside the barrel of talent you might want to double check before setting out, you're going to need to cash. But how much cash? How much does it cost to be a high roller on the tour, which this season took in 12 stops around Europe with a mid-winter trip to the PCA on top.

Starting with the main events (almost mandatory for the common or garden high roller), you'll have needed roughly €76,200 to play those, that's excluding flights and hotel accommodation at each, which could run up to €1,000 per event. Using the back of an envelope we're already up to about €90,000.

So you're registered for the main event, but you're a high roller, which means you're here to play the biggest events in town. Several of the stops this season had high rollers of varying sizes, but let's stick to the major ones, the €25,000 events in London, the PCA and Monaco, and the €100,000 events at the PCA and again in Monaco.

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You'll need headphones, that's another couple of hundred dollars

Suddenly that missed call was from your bank manager and you have to carry your money around in a wheelbarrow, until you open a Skrill account that is. Still, all this has set you back another €275,000 for high rollers alone. But wait, you're a super high roller now, and as such you'll allow yourself a rebuy in Monaco. Make that €375,000.

So far we're all in for €451,200 and the kids are wondering why you're not going to the beach this summer. Meanwhile the bank manager is personally handling your account while at the same time thinking about quitting his job to become a professional poker player; after all you've just spent €451,200 and haven't had your home repossessed. Only he doesn't know you sold the house to pay for that re-buy.

It doesn't stop there. EPT legs offer dozens of side events with buy-ins below the high roller status, all the way down to a $300 turbo. You don't want to play those because you have a reputation to uphold, but the €2,000 event on each leg seems reasonable and always pays well. That's another €26,000 to your bill and now you're up to €476,200.

Noticing this you figure: "I may as well run it up to a cool half a million," so you order a second bottle of water from the hotel bar and get yourself a massage, a whole day's worth at each event. At €96 per hour, for eight hours a time, is about €10,000, including tips.

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Massages are essential

Suddenly, as your Latissimus Dorsi is being turned into paté, you realise it might be wise to win something. But what would you need to win to break even with expenses like this?

Well, winning a main event will help. In Season 8, nine events paid more than half a million to the winner so a win in any one of them will do you. Actually, second place in Barcelona, Prague, the PCA and Deauville would cover it also. The same goes for any of the high rollers and super high rollers you entered.

Of course it's not easy to win any of these events, and with one season gone another new season is never far away. But is all this expense really necessary? Isn't there a cheaper way to high roll your way through an EPT season?

Well yes, you can qualify online (did I telegraph this at all?) for roughly $4.44 a time, sometimes less. That's a season for $57.72, or 13 main events for 0.08 per cent of the cover price, or a saving of, well, a lot. Suddenly your bill is just for your high rollers (€275,000 without the re-buys) and you didn't really like all the attention anyway. You can stick to the main events and side events after all, and those $300 Turbos sure do look like a lot of fun.

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