EPT9 Monaco Day 1B: Lights, camera, more lights, action, as main event reverts to type

Well this is more like it. Le Sporting is recognisable again. As well as the usual Ferraris and Maseratis on the driveway there was also a crowd which, with receipts combined, were financially more striking than any vroom-vroom trinket parked outside. Several hundred players currently listed as more than 300, here to repaint the Grand Final's reputation. It had looked a little faded yesterday. Today, it has back its former shine.

What must have been music to organiser's eyes this morning, so to speak, was the room full of players stretching out before them, even up onto the mezzanine level. There were familiar and not-familiar faces alike, most gathered in groups catching up on conversations, perhaps even debts, the bulk though smiling, happy to be here among their people. Staff were happy too.

seiver_triumph_ept9mon_d1b.jpg
The tournament room featuring the Seiver open-mouthed triumph

Then the lights went out for the introductions, leaving players to find their way in the dark, cinema style, walking in during the trailers.

Then the new bit, debuted yesterday, a dramatic thump-thump-thump of noise and a video of images from past events - the McDonald blink, the Selbst brow wipe, the Seiver open mouthed (open faced?) triumph - before Edgar Stuchly, President of the EPT, pulled off the exact same introduction to players as he did yesterday without the aid of notes. This impressive feat passed almost unnoticed. He had plenty of people to thank.

Finally another video, another rush of sound, like a giant trying to peel the roof off, before the words "Shuffle up and deal" appear on screen. The lights came back on to loud applause as the business fo the day began. Then another thump-thump. More introductions? No, just feedback from a microphone falling on the floor.

From out of the darkness emerge some interesting line-ups, as well as just some interesting players, of which you'll hear more about later. Mickey Petersen and Randy Lew have each other for company, as do Luca Pagano and Daniel Negreanu. Seiver plays today and over on table alliteration, Galen Hall and Gaelle Bauman sit next to each other.

Just some of the faces that will populate the next eight levels of play. No doubt some will go unnoticed until they top the chip count page at the close. That's just what happens when the field is so big. That's how we like it.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.

Click through to live coverage of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final. Follow the @PokerStarsBlog Twitter account to keep up-to-date with all the EPT action.