EPT10 Sanremo: Julian Track just couldn't keep away

Hold on to the sides of your chair and prepare for a shock: PokerStars Blog has discovered that people in poker lie. It turns out that the game renowned for its entire absence of calculated dishonesty -- whoever heard of a big bet into a bloated pot with eight high and a missed flush draw? -- is actually played by people who might, if the occasion demands, be economical with the truth.

In Prague at the end of last year, a poker player named Julian Track won an EPT title at his first attempt, bagging €725,700 and joining the long list of PokerStars qualifiers to make a huge splash in the live scene. But something else made Track unique: he immediately said he hated live poker and had no intention of ever playing live again (after the Aussie Millions for which he had already qualified online).

Far from being bitten by the bug after his big win, as is customary, Track swatted it dead. At least that's what he claimed.

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Julian Track: Champion at the first attempt

Today in Sanremo, a man who looks an awful lot like Julian Track has taken his seat on Day 1A of this EPT event. He carries a passport bearing the name Julian Track and the name Julian Track has appeared on our list of players. It's not exactly the kind of name you expect to be shared by many other people who look like Julian Track, and we can only conclude one thing: this is the same Julian Track.

Despite his earlier claims, Track is back to have another crack at the EPT. Pants. On. Fire.

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Today's Julian Track

Owing to his status as an unknown, the early stages of Track's surge to success in Prague went largely unnoticed. Until he emerged with an enormous stack towards the end of the week, he didn't trouble many of the hand-by-hand updaters.

However, Track made some extraordinary plays during the event, including the call that sent Alan Engel, the American best known as BodogAri, to the rail in 37th place. Lennart Hennig's camera captured it that day, and it's worth a look at the clip to see what a hero call it really is.

Bluffer caught at it? Takes one to know one.

Track drew a chair this afternoon beside another of the lesser-spotted EPT Main Event winners: Michael Eiler, who, until last month, was the reigning EPT Vienna champion. Eiler also triumphed at his first EPT appearance, in the Austrian capital in October 2010, but also went missing from the EPT for a little while. He's back, however, and cashed back in Vienna this time around.

With two World Champions -- Jonathan Duhamel and Pius Heinz -- also in today's line-up, this is turning into a bit of a shark-pool. It's a small field so far by Sanremo standards, but it'll be a tough one to beat.

Full coverage of EPT Sanremo is on the main EPT Sanremo page. There's hand-by-hand coverage in the panel at the top and feature pieces below.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour