EPT Monte Carlo: The Stolzmann Crown
I don't even remember when I met Steve Stolzmann. It's been years ago, and if memory serves, was in Season 1 of the PokerStars European Poker Tour.
When we met, I only knew Stolzmann as a firefigher from the upper Midwest. Now, Stolzmann is what I like to call a Serial Qualifier. The PokerStars Supernova seems to pop up at nearly every event I cover. If he's not there, it doesn't feel quite right to me. It also should be mentioned, Stolzmann is father to one-time WPT champ John Stolzmann (a relationship that was both full of pride and cash, as the father had a significant piece of the son in the event).
When I stepped on the elevator after last night's welcome party, I was glad but not at all surprised to see my old friend. During the ride, we got to talking about Gavin Griffin joining Team PokerStars Pro. Since Griffin has won events on the EPT, WSOP, and WPT, he's known as poker's only Triple Crown winner.
It's an achievement that even Stolzmann can appreciate. Still, he's got his own ideas about his own version of the triple crown. In just the past few weeks, Stolzmann took down two tournaments at Midwest Casinos.
"When I win here," he said, "it will be my own Triple Crown."
As I left him on the elevator, we agreed (albeit, with a bit of laughter), if you've conquer Canterbury and Monte Carlo, it's deserving of something.
Today, Stolzmann sits just a few feet from Blogger Central in a St. Louis Cardinals cap and PokerStars t-shirt. Worth mentioning, Stolzmann, Serial Qualifier as he is, is playing today on a complete freeroll. Despite having the bankroll to qualify otherwise, he's here on an FPP freeroll. He's off to a slow start today, but still has well enough chips to make a run for Day 2.
Tell ya what, Steve. You win this week, I'll get you a crown--as long as you don't mind it coming from Burger King.