EPT11 Grand Final: Shoot for the stars. Poker joins the space race

I don't know what it is about Monaco, but everybody seems obsessed with money. I can't figure it out. On the one hand, you've got Joe Stapleton and his non-stop "I don't want to say Monaco's expensive..." jokes and then you stroll into a tournament room this afternoon and hear a poker player berating a waiter with: "You mean you pay six euros for a coffee and you don't even get sugar?"

To be fair to that waiter, he did quickly scoot back to his station and bring over a packet of demerara. And to be fair to the player, his tongue was in his cheek. (Stapleton, however, has no excuse.) But there certainly is something about this Principality that has everyone tapping their wallet pocket more urgently than usual, shamed that it never quite feels fat enough.

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Fifty grand for a seat. Position on Igor Kurganov included

If you want to feel especially inadequate, a quick trip to the America's Room in the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort should do the trick. That's where Event #34 of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final is playing out, a €50,000 buy-in, single re-entry turbo, which will be done in a single afternoon and evening.

We're calling it the "One-Day €50K", but it most likely with be a One-Day €100K for plenty of the players, who campaigned it into existence and have duly shown up to support it.

Every single table in that satellite room is packed to the gunnels with superstars. To pick one particular slab of felt, there was Dzmitry Urbanovich, Isaac Haxton, Daniel Colman, Fabian Quoss, Scott Seiver and Piotr Franczak. Yeah, I wouldn't fancy it either.

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Fabian Quoss and Scott Seiver

But "was" is the right word because Haxton sent Urbanovich to the rail pretty early on, moving all in on the river looking at a board of 6♥5♣2♦3♣3♠. There had been betting all the way, including a lead for 21,900 on the end from Urbanovich. But when Urbanovich called Haxton's shove, the Super High Roller runner-up was second best again; Haxton had flopped a set with pocket sixes and rivered a boat. Urbanovich's 4♦6♦ had been ahead on the turn.

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Dzmitry Urbanovich: Back at work...

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...but beaten by Haxton's sixes

Urbanovich turned to Franczak, who slipped two €25,000 casino chips into his hand. Urbanovich isn't done yet. (And there's always the main event, if he gets bored.)

The action is as frantic as you'd expect in any turbo event, but probably still doesn't offer the kind of adrenalin rush that Vasily Klyukin needs to keep himself interested. According to Forbes (and fed to us from Frank Op de Woerd on the live reporting team here) Klyukin is planning to be the first space tourist, having paid $1.5 million for a berth alongside Leonardo DiCaprio on Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic space craft.

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Vasily Klyukin: Spaceman

That project has endured a few delays of late and hasn't yet launched into outer space, but Klyukin is front of the line to blast off. In the meantime, the Russian, who lives in Monaco, is whiling his time playing some poker. He too is already in for his first bullet, but I don't suppose his wallet pocket is empty just yet.

I mean, I don't want to say Monaco is expensive, but there's a guy here who has paid to go to space.

We have all the action from three tournaments today. The €10,000 Main Event is on the Main Event page. The One-Day €50K is on the One-Day €50K page. And the France Poker Series plays to its champion on both the FPS page and EPT Live.

It's also about time you downloaded the EPT app. There you will get all the latest news, chip counts and payouts. You can download it on Android or IOS.