EPT10 Vienna: Hunch suggests no Austrian winner

We regret to inform those watching locally that there will not be an Austrian winner of EPT Vienna.

As announcements go this one might appear a bit bold, but statistically speaking it's correct. And we don't use those "actual" statistics which can prove so troublesome in posts like this. We mean those "other" statistics, the ones based on "hunch", that have served us well all these years.

Austria remains one of the few countries across Western Europe never to have produced an EPT winner, joining the likes of Spain and that poker hotspot Luxembourg. Looking at it in another way it's even worse. Austria is the only country in that North-central Western European region without a winner.

And yet it has a stable of veteran pros with pedigrees that yodel success, just not a peep on the European Poker Tour. That problem continues today with the leading lights going out across Vienna, following the departure of both Joseph Klinger, and Ivo Donev.

Neither Klinger or Donev would be considered heavyweights on the tour, Archduke's rather than Crown Princes. But both have tournaments earnings in excess of $1.4 million, even though silverware eludes them. Alas, the same now applies for their home turf EPT.

But of the Austrians in the field today there exists a potential saviour. Step forward Cai Lin Jin.

Cai Lin Jin

For those not old enough to remember Late Night Poker in the late 1990s, Jin was a formidable regular, albeit his face hidden for the first few series by a perpetual cloud of cigarette smoke. No need for baseball caps and sunglasses in those days, a pack of Benson and Hedges would dismiss the need for a poker face.

Jin has not gone the way of Klinger or Donev. Instead he has done the opposite, piling up a level 5 stack of some 70,000, without a cigarette in sight. Do hopes rest on Jin to end this era of non-Austrian domination?

Well, not exactly. There are 34 Austrians in the field today and of course more are expected tomorrow. But then their best bet is a rash prediction such as this to put the record straight. So no, there will be no Austria winner on Saturday. You read it here first.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.