EPT10 Grand Final: Schemion and Silverman lead the sub-plots as €25,000 High Roller kicks off
For those of us who have been on the Italian and French Riviera for most of April and soon May, today feels like Day 18 of EPT Sanremo. This has been a long old slog playing, watching, officiating or dealing poker, the longest perhaps outside of the World Series.
At 1pm today, however, we reach an important landmark: the final showpiece event of these three weeks in the sun gets under way. It's the €25,000 High Roller event at the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final, the last chance for the game's biggest stars to take a stab at something like a million euros.
This renewal will be something special, with a host of sub-plots coursing through it. For instance:
* Can Ole Schemion put off another hat-trick of cashes? The German sensation cashed in the Super High Roller, High Roller and Main Event at EPT Barcelona at the beginning of this season, then did it again at the PCA. He has already cashed the Main Event and the Super High Roller here, and he surely must be the favourite to do so again in the €25,000 event.
It would be remarkable enough even without the fact that he also won the High Roller in Sanremo, as well as three side events here in Monaco last season. He has live tournament cashes of $5.1m already. Ole Schemion is 21 years old.
* How with the Asian invasion swell the numbers? As has been written before, the Macau-based poker-playing community has pretty much been airlifted lock, stock and barrel to Monaco this week for the series of high buy-in tournaments and cash games. Most of the players, including Rono Lo and Richard Yong, are still here and looking for one last hurrah. The European and north American sharks will likely give them a spin.
* What of Ivey, Hansen, Blom, Negreanu etc? It's been a pretty miserable tournament week for some of the biggest names in the game, with Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Viktor Blom and Gus Hansen whiffing every tournament they have played so far. (The latter couldn't even beat the media tournament last night.) Their chance of redemption begins with this High Roller event.
* Any chance of seeing the defending champ? The American pro Steven Silverman picked up the largest live cash of his career when he won the €25,000 High Roller this time last year, and it set in motion a blistering run of his own. He went on to place this in a decent sized WSOP bracelet event and then took down a WPT Alpha 8 title. Silverman would ordinarily be a lock to try to defend his EPT High Roller title, if it wasn't for one significant hitch: He is still in the Main Event with a stack of 605,000.
Registration is open until the start of Day 2 in the High Roller, but no one is going to blame Silverman if he attempts to miss even that and push on to the Main Event final 16 instead.
Hand-by-hand coverage of the €25,000 High Roller event will be in the panel at the top of the main High Roller page. Chip counts are also in the panel; feature pieces are below. Follow the action from the Main Event on the Main Event page, and also follow along on EPTLive.