EPT10 Deauville: Following our own footsteps
It was another brisk, windy morning walking to the Casino Barrière for today's Day 1b. "Those flags are always horizontal," said my colleague Howard Swains, referring to the ones that were flying on the other, water-facing side of the Boulevard Eugène-Cornuché along which we traveled.
Perhaps it was Howard's comment -- or the fact that we were heading in to watch a second Day 1 flight in the EPT Deauville Main Event -- but the feeling of déjà vu was hard to resist.
We've walked this path before, I thought. Or, to borrow my other colleague Rick Dacey's phrase, "One more, just like before."
My mind went back to last year's EPT Deauville Main Event when I similarly found myself walking in the cold of northern France with blogging companions day after day.
That's when I remembered an incident that had happened a year ago to introduce a break in the routine.
"Meet you there," I told Howard, and peeled off down a rue to the right.
As I walked down the side street I thought about my friend and fellow poker scribe Matthew Pitt, not here this time around but who had been among those covering EPT Deauville a year ago. He and I had been walking in to the tournament one morning early that week, distracted by conversation and the ever-present wind.
Suddenly we both stopped and looked at each other. "Seemed kind of soft," said Matt, articulating my own thought.
We looked back together to see one square of the sidewalk that had been newly paved. The concrete was still wet... and we had trod straight through it, leaving behind big splotchy footprints to announce to all the monde our carelessness.
We turned back toward each other, then without a word turned forward again and continued walking, this time a little faster. And chuckling more than a little.
For the rest of the week we took the same path and got to see time and again our footprints, now dried. One morning I snapped a picture, wanting to have a visual illustration of the story.
Walking in with Howard, I remembered the sauntering through cement from a year ago. Surely they must have covered over our prints during the previous 12 months, I thought. But I had to be sure.
I found the same spot, walked back and forth over it a few times, and decided our accidental, shoe-sized vandalism had been taken care of. The square was as smooth and nondescript as each one on either side.
With the EPT now in its 10th season and this visit marking the eighth time the tour has wound its way to Deauville, many of those participating are also walking in their own footsteps, returning to the seaside city to try their luck anew. Some have experienced success here in the past, while others are trying to interrupt the routine of coming up short year after year.
Greeting all in the foyer not far from the poker room entrance is a reminder of what has gone before here in Deauville, the "memory wall" on which past winners are listed and other significant moments are recorded.
One of the champions highlighted on the board is back here for Day 1B, Season 6 Main Event champion and Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody.
Click the pic below to see a bigger version of the memory wall which includes the story of Cody's triumph and other highlights from past EPT Deauvilles.
Meanwhile, to see who will be making their mark on this year's EPT Deauville Main Event, keep a watch on our live coverage page throughout the week as we chronicle the tournament's story step by step.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.