EPT11 Grand Final: Enough checking and calling, all in or fold!
There are 78 events at this year's PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final. So we can at least try to squeeze in a few unusual ones, two of which got started today.
Actually, the €3,000 buy-in Escalator isn't really unusual. An eye-witness would affirm that it looks just like any other hold'em tournament. It even smelled like one. The only difference was the clock. After every three levels five minutes is added to the length of a level.
As you'd imagine, this one has everyone in it, or at least everyone not still playing the High Roller. They play 18 levels tonight, which will keep the survivors busy until midnight.
That though is relatively ordinary when compared to event #71 which occupies two tables in the tournament room. This one is the €100 no-limit turbo, with unlimited re-buys, ante only. Oh, and you can only move all in or fold. You heard that right.
I know what you're thinking: finally a game for players who struggle post flop. Well so far 15 players have opted to give it a try, with all-in triangles at the ready. There are four levels of re-buys available -- which is probably a good thing -- and from the looks on players faces it's a combination of excitement and terror.
The rules are not as straight forward as you might think, as Erwann Pechauux found when he drew a seat card and got the lo-down. It was explained to him in English, that pre-flop a larger stack can actually call. Then it was explained to him in French. Pechaux tried to follow, but didn't, and you could tell by the look on his face that he'd decided "To hell with it," and took his seat anyway.
Meanwhile there are seven players left in the €1K PLO with €23,200 waiting for the winner. Next to them are two tables of 8-Gamers, including the likes of Talal Shakerchi and Dan Heimiller. It's also where Dzmitry Urbanovich is spending his day.
According to the 19-year-old, winning the Player of the Year title means more to him than the money. At least that's what his pop star friend Wojciech Lozowski told us.
To recap, Urbanovich won four titles in Malta, then almost won the Super High Roller last week, finishing second to Erik Seidel. At this stage every point he can pick up is vital.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.