EPT9 Monaco Day 1A: Postprandial overview
Players have just returned from their dinner break -- 71 of them remain from a starting field of 108. I don't think that anyone would deny that that's fewer than we would have expected here, but there are plenty of reasons why we could expect an absolutely monster field tomorrow, compensating for that slight shortfall.
The first is the Open Face Chinese event, for which 70 players anted up €2,000. Pretty much all of them can be guaranteed to enter the main event tomorrow; it's only the real poker aficionados who have played the OFC and they won't miss the €10,000 event.
Another reason is the great success of the cash games here in Monaco. This is the first year the Grand Final has had a full complement of cash games on offer, and they are juicy to say the least, with a three per cent rake up to a maximum of €25.
At time of writing, there are 18 tables running, ranging from a couple of €2-€5 games up to a €500-€1,000. There are also a couple of open-face tables that are, predictably, proving popular. That "fad" is clearly no such thing.
Other players are on their way, with some finding passage to the south of France more simple than others. Take poor aerophobic Victoria Coren, who intended to take the train down here. Note the word "intended". Coren has recently tweeted the following:
All going well en route to the EPT Final at Monte Carlo. Hour's delay on the Eurostar, missed the last train to Nice. Marvellous.— Victoria Coren (@VictoriaCoren) May 6, 2013
She followed up with:
So far, @clairv0yant1 (who shares my dislike of flying) and I have managed to get ourselves to Toulon. Now what?— Victoria Coren (@VictoriaCoren) May 6, 2013
No more trains today. Suspicious dearth of hire car firms. Sod it, we might just look for a game in Toulon.— Victoria Coren (@VictoriaCoren) May 6, 2013
I guess that story hasn't yet reached its conclusion.
Back to those who have not only made it to Monaco, but who are playing today: the relatively unknown Pablo Fernandez is heading the field at the moment, with close to 120,000. But the likes of James Mitchell, Jan Bendik and Tatiana Barausova are also riding high, while Jake Cody is enjoying his first Grand Final in PokerStars colours.
100k after the dinner break, back at 250/500/50, two levels left for the day #eptgrandfinal— Jake Cody (@JakeCody) May 6, 2013
At the other end of the spectrum Ville Wahlbeck, Mark Teltscher, Jonathan Duhamel, Sorel Mizzi, Jeff Hakim, Marvin Rettenmaier, Mike McDonald and Vanessa Rousso are some of the big names to have perished already.
There are two more 75-minute levels to play, and then the remaining players will bag for the night. The others will no doubt spend some time examining the tournament schedule and deciding the rest of the week.
A quick note on how to follow our coverage of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final. Head to the main EPT Monaco page, where you will find hand-by-hand coverage from the tables in the panel at the top of the page, which also includes current chip counts.