EPT9 London Day 1B: Back from the cold for The Vic

It's snowing in London today. Going outside is unpleasant and while it looks like "good" snow, it doesn't appear to be settling on anything other than people's skin. Londoners could hardly be any paler, particularly in these winter months. But who needs vitamin D when the Grosvenor Casino, with all its free tea and fried egg sandwiches, provides all the nourishment you could possibly need.

It may be small, crowded, dark and devoid of natural light, but there's something pleasing about being back at The Vic, the spiritual home of British poker, despite the resurgence of the game's popularity around the capital. The Vic is where many British pros did their pricey apprenticeships and is a shrine to newer generations who skipped the public humiliation for an internet education. British players should experience it for the good of the game. As the aboriginals once said, those who lose their history lose their soul, and a trip back to the Vic, for British players at least, is a useful reminder of how far the game has come, and where it came from.

Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament

Today is Day 1B of EPT London, the second day of play following yesterday's opener, from which 130 players survived the eight levels. Today the field will include a host of familiar names from far away and down the road.

Daniel Negreanu and ElkY will take seats, as will Barry Greenstein, Vanessa Rousso, Jake Cody and Victoria Coren, who, as one of those daring apprentices at the Vic, looking through the window before having the courage to come in, won here in Season 3 to the delight of the old lags who had taken her money through those first educational years.

Others will be here in significant number for eight 75 minute levels and a dinner break after the sixth. You'll find stories from the day's action right here on the blog as well as all the hand-for-hand detail and chip counts on the live coverage tab, which you can find on the widget in the top right corner of this page.

In addition to the written format you can also watch the action for yourself, as it happens, on EPT Live Lite, hosted by James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton. Watch via PokerStars.tv with commentary starting later this afternoon.

Everything else that happens off the main stage will be covered here somewhere, along with side event results which can also be found widget-ized top right.

The Vic is perfect for these occasions and, should you want the maximum experience, is easy to replicate at home. Simply shut off all natural light, turn all the lights on, put the sports channel on in the next room and have someone stand outside your front door smoking. It's an atmosphere they tried to kill in poker rooms around the world. Not here.

Play starts at noon.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter