EPT Monte Carlo: Game, set and snaps on table Boris

A quick walk around the poker room gives you a good idea of who’s here and where they’re sitting. Team PokerStars Pros Lee Nelson and 'ElkY' Grospellier share a table, as do Daniel Negreanu and Chad Brown.

But for some players you can make a pretty accurate guess as to where they’re sitting based on the crowd around their table. So the mass of people around table 21 give away Boris Becker’s location quite easily, here in smart suit, high coloured, hair a spiked sunshine colour reminiscent of his tennis days.

The newest PokerStars Ambassador sits alongside PokerStars.com EPT London winner Joseph Mouawad as well as PokerStars qualifier and Icelandic airline pilot, Runar Runarsson. Boris also sits alongside something like 30 press, nine of which (I counted) are armed with high powered cameras ready for an early snapshot of the former tennis prodigy, one of which I could swear was held by one of the players at the table.


There’s no doubting that the arrival of Becker, who remains one of the most famous sportsmen in the world, having won in his career Grand Slam titles and Olympic medals has attracted a few more interested parties to his corner of the room, his appearance being heralded for some time.

His role with PokerStars was something he relished, he said, speaking to the press this week. Having played in his tennis days the prospect of transferring the same discipline, patience and determination he used to dominate the tennis world, to the poker table being one he is keen to try out, coached as he has been by PokerStars Sponsored player Jan Heitman.

But back to now, and with the eyes of the poker world upon him Boris gets into a pot.

A flop of Kc7cQs and a tentative bet of 400 from Becker. When I spoke with Boris yesterday the analogies between tennis and poker came easily. Here though I’m steering clear of any reference to power serves and or diving returns that save the day -- I’ll save those for later. For now this was just a raise, and an effective one, forcing two players to muck and sending this pot his way.

A nice start for the ‘man most watched’ on day 1b of the EPT Grand Final. That was a few minutes ago. No let up in press attention. In fact I think there may be more there now.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in EPT Monte Carlo