EPT9 Monaco Day 2: History is about to be made

If anyone was feeling slightly thick headed after eight levels of play yesterday, making for a 2am finish for anyone whose job it is to count things at the end of their working day, today's introduction boldly blew away the cobwebs.

Richard Strauss perhaps knew he had a hit on his hands when he added the last crotchet to the manuscript of Also Sprach Zarathustra, also known as Sunrise, or that bit from the opening scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey, with the drums. He was unlikely to have known it would be used for other events in need of a rousing fanfare, such as the US space programme, least of all for the announcement of a new PokerStars celebration featuring a similar number of zeros to the US space programme.

So many zeros in fact that if you typed them out they'd stretch around the world this far: 00,000,000,000. That seemed longer in my head, but the point remains that PokerStars has dealt a lot of hands online, coming up to 100 Billion, and that makes it nearly time to celebrate.

That was what Lee Jones announced to the assembled crowd of press and players shortly after the presentation video came to an end. On screen giant zeros had appeared, too many to fit the screen until the camera pulled back to reveal a number so big you instinctively had to re-check with the nearest person. 100 Billion? Really? Surely they mean 100 million? No, it's Billion. With a "B".

"Advance man: also know as the inimitable Lee Jones

Subsequent thoughts veered towards a private calculation of how many of those you've actually won yourself (three for sure), but then the numbers hit home.

So what will happen when this landmark hand is dealt sometime between May and June? Well, PokerStars will be giving away a lot of money. As the advance man for this news, Lee Jones, explained that $5 million will be given away over the course of the celebration. The highlight will be the $1 million PokerStars will pay out to its players when the winning hand hits.

It will be some spectacle, watched by tens of thousands and more, logging into watch, slowing the system and increasing the anticipation of the moment when someone, hopefully on a 2c/4c table, for story purposes, has their life changed by an online card game.

Not that the players in the main event seemed all that interested. Their chief concern right now is making it through Day 2 and then onto the money where hopefully, having raised enough here, they can play that 2c/4c game later this month.

All that is coming up on PokerStars in the coming weeks and you can find more information on the 100 billionth hand webpage.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.

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