Roll-up, roll-up to the EPT Grand Final...you won't be disappointed!
When it comes to my favourites EPT venues, let me tell you that Monaco comes high on my list.
The city is one of the most glamorous I've ever seen, and believe me, I've traveled a lot. There is a very sophisticated atmosphere everywhere you go, something very old fashioned with a definite European-style taste.
You can find two different casinos there. The Sun casino in the Grand Hotel Fairmont (used to be the famous "Loews" that doesn't need introduction) offers all the American table games. The fantastic Casino de Monte Carlo remains one of the most prestigious casinos in the world and provides all the European games (French roulette, Baccarat, etc.). The experience will be totally different than anything you've seen before when it comes to gaming. You should definitely check it out. You' ll be amazed by the ambience.
The area is also the best when it comes to weather and sightseeing. It's close to Nice, Cannes, and pretty much all the Cote d'Azur. You are guaranteed to have a good time at the beach and get a great sun tan.
Regarding the food, you can find a wide range from standard to gastronomic (as in restaurant "Le Louis XV" with grand chef Alain Ducasse, one of the very best cooks of all times in Hotel de Paris). Personally, I always enjoy the "oreille d' éléphant" (i.e "elephant's ear") at Sass café, five minutes from the tournament area. Don't be scared, there is no elephant involved. It's just the best breaded veal cutlet Milanese I've ever eaten in my life.
For those who like to party, Jimmy'z is the place to be and be seen. I can remember last year the presence of George Clooney and Bono surrounded by like 50 girls (read "jealous" here). And even if you want to have a nice snack after dancing, the Tip Top restaurant is open late hours, and offers the very best pizzas, raviolis, pasta, and number one steak tartar in town. It's no wonder that it's been open for more than 60 years, and is still one of Prince Rainier's favourite places.
I'm sure I don' t have to mention the fact that French players (including Monegasque) have a particular playing style when it comes to poker. They really enjoy the game from an amateurish perspective, and you could tag them as "creative," if you see what I mean, which definitely makes the game easier for seasoned players.
I guess there is no need to talk about Les Thermes Marins, which is probably one of the finest spa in the world. Everything from facial treatments to massages will take place in the most luxurious environment. The only problem you will encounter is that you will have a hard time trying to leave that place.
To finish, what could be better than chilling and having a drink on the terrace of Café de Paris, which has been depicted on thousands and thousands of postcards.
The list could go on and on as to why Monte Carlo is one of the best spots on the planet, but to make a long story short, you' ll know where to find me from April 24-May 1.
Follow Arnaud on Twitter: @ArnaudMattern