EPT10 Grand Final: Stars glinting in FPS, and a Jake Cody freeroll special

It is widely known that if you ever want to feel like you're nothing, as though your existence is as worthless as a tiny speck of dust in a vast vortex of matter, you should come to Monaco and try to get served in a thoroughly average bar. The Principality can be accused of many things but a lack of self-esteem is not among them, and even the attempt to be acknowledged by a waiter in a lowly drinking hole can be damaging to the out-of-towner's confidence.

In a small (and of course insignificant) way, it is therefore gratifying to see the French Poker Series sticking it to Monaco in a small (and of course insignificant) way. The FPS, which is France's premier poker series, visits Cannes, Paris and Deauville, and also has an online leg at PokerStars. It is also in town this week, in this wondrous land of plenty, but this is not the FPS's finale or anything grand like that.

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We built it, they came

Indeed, FPS Monaco is just a normal leg, the first of the tour's fourth season. They're playing to normal rules and with a normal structure, a four-day €1,100 event that is attracting what, to this series, is just normal numbers.

At time of writing, 551 players are in Day 1B of the FPS event, and they are still coming in, adding to the 247 who played yesterday. Of course, these are hardly normal numbers to many tournament series -- a field of close to 800 players means it's already close to the largest ever assembled in Monaco (currently the 905 players at the EPT Grand Final in Season 5 holds that record) -- but the FPS is used to this kind of thing.

The tournament in Paris in November 2012 got 715 runners. The FPS final the following January got 828. The next renewal in Paris, in November last year, got 818, and when Niels Van Leeuwen of the Netherlands won in Deauville this January, he beat out a field of 1,095. See, it's all kind of normal. The FPS is the place to be.

Certainly that's the case for numerous top stars who are warming up for the EPT by dipping their toes in the FPS waters toady. This is where it does become something more than just normal. Among those names on today's list are Liv Boeree, Jake Cody, Dimitar Danchev and Arnaud Mattern. They've all won an EPT Main Event.

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Liv Boeree, dipping a toe in the FPS waters

Then there's Vitaly Lunkin, Antoine Saout, Andre Akkari, Andrew Chen, Thomas Wahlroos, Ami Barer, Russell Carson, Angel Guillen, Yngve Steen and Ronan Montfort. They've all got some big wins under their belts.

It is of course worth watching all of those players at any time, but it's a good idea to keep your eye in particular on Cody this week. He has promised to post some of his more interesting hands on Twitter and invite his followers to try to guess what he was holding in particular spots. The first follower to deduce his holding correctly will win 1 per cent of his action in the tournament. That freeroll could be worth anything up to about €2,000.

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Jake Cody, offering a big slice of the pie

Cody kicked this off with the second hand he played, when he wrote this to his 23,150 acolytes:

A follower named @StephBev hit the nail on the head -- guessing A♥2♥. That gives her the sweat for the rest of Cody's tournament, but Cody promised "I'll do another one if a fun hand comes up" and sealed it with a hash-tag: #staytuned.

All the hand-by-hand action, including chip counts, will be in the panel at the top of the main Super High Roller page. We will have feature pieces below that.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour