EPT9 Sanremo: Squeezing them in

ept-thumb-promo.jpgAs detailed earlier, for the first time in five seasons in Sanremo, the main event has moved into a different tournament room, booting the roulette and blackjack tables into the ballroom and occupying the main gaming floor.

It has never been easy to fit the monster fields of a 21st century poker tournament into halls designed in the 19th century for elegant wagering and waltzing, but it has been particularly difficult in Sanremo, where the appetite for poker is so voracious. The biggest field we ever had here was in season six, when Liv Boeree triumphed from 1,240 players. There weren't that many people who even knew the rules of poker in Italy when this place was first in operation.

The early indications from EPT9 Sanremo is that we probably won't break through the 1,000 runner mark, but no one is taking any chances. Although 320 players signed up to play today, we are still going to play eight 75-minute levels to trim them down to size. That is mainly because we will have to do the same tomorrow, when at least 500 players are expected. We need to make sure the combined number of players for day two is not more than about 600. Otherwise we burst.

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EPT tournament room in Sanremo

The thing is, no matter how many players start these events, by the time we get to day three and beyond, the numbers are almost always the same. Taking a look back through the EPT archives - with the help of the ever resourceful Mad Harper - shows that somewhere between 140-200 players will start day three and only around 60-70 of them will finish.

Here is how EPT Sanremo has played out over the past three years:

Season Six
Entries: 1,240
Liv Boeree won €1,250,000

1A: 585 players
1B: 656 players

Day 2: 620 players
Day 3: 194 players
Day 4: 66 players
Day 5: 24 players

Season Seven
Entries: 986
Rupert Elder won €930,000

1A: 438 players
1B: 548 players

Day 2 start: 460 players
Day 3 start: 164 players
Day 4 start: 60 players
Day 5 start: 24 players

Season Eight
Entries: 837
Andrey Pateychuk won €680,000

1A: 359 players (222 survived)
1B: 478 players (260 survived) Pateychuk 111th

Day 3 start: 144 players AP 47th
Day 4 start: 65 players AP 22nd
Day 5 start: 24 players AP 10th

Season Nine:
Entries: ?

Day 1A: 320

The continuity here is not an accident. Rather it is testament to tournament planning and the precision of the structures. We don't know how many people will arrive tomorrow, but about this time on Monday, there will be about 200 left.

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EPT Tournament Director Teresa Nousiainen

Click through for live reporting from EPT Sanremo

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour