EPT Monte Carlo: Ready and set for the second half of day one

Six and a half levels of play were wrapped up in the early hours of this morning, 189 players leaving the opening day of the PokerStars.com EPT Grand Final tired but happy enough that their chips, and a return visit here on Monday, were in the bag. Now it’s time for the second wave of players to navigate the same obstacles, endure the same hours and eat the same buffet - day 1b is upon us.

The first day is the same for everyone, but the appearance of day 1A and 1B can be far from similar. It’s often been the case during this EPT season that the ‘Day 1B effect’ put together stronger fields for the second flight. But in Monte Carlo there seems little evidence that the theory will take effect. A scan through the player list shows Team PokerStars Pro names like Hachem, Negreanu, Griffin, Brown, ElkY and Minieri leaping out with an equally prolific supporting cast.

There’s more Team PokerStars Pros like Rousso, Ramdin, Moneymaker, Nelson and Ambrose. Then there's Molander, Hansen G and Hansen T, Ruthenburg, Mele, Lellouche and Esfandiari, Jorgenson and Goodwin, Helppi, Karam and Thorson, Lylloff, Mouawad, Mattern, Vance and Schulze. The list goes on and on, and on.

And there’s one more familiar name... that of Boris Becker.


Boris Becker biding his time on Day 1A -- © Neil Stoddart

One thing that does stay the same though is the tournament introduction. Yesterday the booming sounds of “I like the way you move” greeted players moments before cards flew, and that same opening ceremony will welcome those arriving today; waking the weary, adrenalising the adventurous, and bolstering the brave. The pulse of world poker beats in this room today and if you can’t be here then the PokerStars blog is the next best thing.

With the curtains drawn back on the main stage, the final stage set shines, back lit and beautiful as far as poker players are concerned with the smiling faces of Team PokerStars Pro around the table making their entrance. Opposite are 30 foot high windows currently shielded by thick black curtains that will soon give way to the panoramic Monte Carlo skyline.

That’s all to come as players descend on the tournament room. Play is about to begin.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in EPT Monte Carlo