EPT9 Barcelona: The featureless table


At this stage something has been written or videoed about each of the remaining players. They're an eclectic bunch, made up of multiple bracelet winners at one end, and local club players at the other. In fact, two players have a total of zero career earnings in live events before this week.

Poker has always been democratic, combining the virtues of openness to all regardless of background, and stinking wealth. But the modern game has lowered the bar on this latter requirement, particularly for high stakes events such as those of the EPT. Now, as many now familiar names have since proved, you can win big for little outlay. Financially at least it's possible to fast-track your way up the shallow slopes of the poker pyramid by winning big, and some players spend a fortune trying to prove it.

That makes the EPT a breeding ground for previously unknown players who then catapult their reputations into the stratosphere. That might account for the eight players in the last 24 who have yet to cash for more than $10,000 in their career.

Here are the eight along with their career earnings:

Mikalai Pobal - $9,805
Mauro Canavese - $5,281
Ibon Merino Borbolla - $4,739
Anaras Alekberovas - $1,107
Antonin Duda - $723
Mikolaj Zawadzki - $0
Elias Gutierrez Hernandez - $0
Samuel Rodriguez - $0

It would make an unlikely final table, but hardly an unusual one. Each of the above has shown flashes of expertise this week, not to mention in chip leader Rodriguez's case, sheer fun. So far the Low-Eight are on course, with four players now eliminated.

Samuel Rodriguez: He certainly looks like a poker player

Incidentally three of those four - Alain Roy, Roberto Romanello and Lucille Cailly - amounting to combined earnings of more than $6.5million. With the exception of John Juanda, that's more than the rest of the field.

Today at least, past is not necessarily prologue. Let's hear it for the rookies.