EPT9 Berlin Day 2: Season nine cupboard bare for EPT heavyweights USA, UK and Germany
Yesterday evening, after tournament administrators announced the final number of entrants to EPT Berlin, our media co-ordinator extraordinaire Mad Harper was able to scour the lists and produce her trademark nationalities pie-chart, offering a pictorial, country-by-country breakdown of this bumper field.
The full data -- and the aforementioned pie-chart -- is below, but before we get to it, let's pull out the most interesting factors.
Firstly, and as expected, our host country Germany provided by far and away the biggest number of players here. Indeed, of the 912 who ante-ed up €5,300, 278 were German. They represented 30 per cent of the field.
Russians proved to be the second most represented nation in Berlin, with 66 entrants. But that was still only 7 per cent of the total, slightly more than the United States' 47 players (5 per cent) and the United Kingdom's 46 players (5 per cent).
Things are getting a little flustered for poker-playing Brits this year. Every season since the very first, at least one British player has won an EPT main event. But with only two stops left this time around, the season nine Union Flag is still in its wrapping.
If no one can step up either this week or later in the month in Monte Carlo, then the only such streak on the EPT will end. More than ever, your country needs you Jake Cody.
Any Americans who may consider Britain's travails to be cause for amusement should take a look at their own sorry display this season. Through the first eight years, more EPT main event champions have come from the United States than any other nation, but Uncle Sam's trophy cabinet from season nine is also bare.
Two Frenchmen (Ludovic Lacay and Remi Castaignon) and one each from Sweden (Ramzi Jelassi), Belarus (Mikalai Pobol), the Netherlands (Ruben Visser) and Bulgaria (Dimitar Danchev) have instead taken the spoils. The United States and UK are being bettered by Belarus and Bulgaria! Get me Kofi Annan!
But back to our hosts Germany, who also have one of the proudest EPT records. Ever since season three, when Thang Duc Nguyen broke the German EPT duck, there has also been a fine series of successes for players from these shores. But at time of writing, the most recent German to hold aloft an EPT main event title was Martin Finger, in Prague in December 2011. They too must try harder.
There is cause for encouragement for Germany here, though. We have spent a decent amount of time this season analysing the nationality data at the various stops, and the rule of thumb is that no matter how many "local" players start the event, a disproportionate number of them will depart every day. It is almost impossible to maintain the same percentage of players day by day, and not only because Lebanese players will likely move sharply in the opposite direction.
However as remarkable as it sounds, today's day two starting field in Berlin actually had a higher percentage of German players than on either day one. Of the 478 players returning overnight, 149 of them were German. That's 31.17 per cent of the field.
If they keep up that kind of ratio, then three seats at the final table should be locked up for local players, and that may well be enough to give Germany its first champion of the year. We shall revisit this subject later in the week and see how they're all doing.
The EPT9 Berlin nationality pie-chart
Nationality breakdown for EPT9 Berlin:
Germany - 278 players (30 per cent of field); Russia - 66 (7); USA - 47 (5); UK - 46 (5); France - 38 (4); Netherlands - 38 players (4); Sweden - 30 (3); Canada - 29 (3); Finland - 28 (3); Poland - 25 (3); Italy - 24 (3); Romania, Switzerland - 18 (2); Spain - 17 (2); Austria, Denmark 16 (2); Norway 15 (2); Belgium, Czech Republic 14 (2); Greece - 13 (1); Ukraine - 12 (1); Lebanon, Lithuania - 11 (1); Bulgaria - 10 (1); Belarus - 9 (1); Hungary, Turkey - 7 (1); Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Georgia, Israel - 4; Portugal, Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Croatia, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Montenegro, Slovenia - 2; Vietnam, Argentina, Estonia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Serbia, Tunisia, Uruguay.
Don't forget the way to follow our main event coverage. There's hand-by-hand stuff, including chip counts, in the panel at the top of the main EPT Berlin page. There will be feature pieces below that panel, including updates from the side events. EPT Live is now live. And everything to do with the European Poker Tour is on the European Poker Tour site.