EPT8 Berlin: Poker players, thousands of them (well, hundreds)

ept-thumb-promo.jpgIn the 1964 film Zulu Colour Sgt. Bourne utters the immortal line: 'The sentries report Zulus to the south west. Thousands of them.'* Walking into the tournament room here in the Hyatt Hotel, Berlin it's easy to share that sentiment. Squeezing past the large security guards you're greeted with a vista of poker carnage; tables tight with players battling while TV cameras circle ahead ready to swoop down to feast upon the fallen. It certainly doesn't make it easy to move around the tournament floor.

Situated in the middle of the room, right in the thick of it, is a table with Jeff Sarwer, Tim Bettingen and Chris Moorman. Sarwer, animated as usual, is engaging Moorman in what appears to be interesting banter but it's nigh-on impossible to get near so instead I opt to circuit the edge of the fighting picking perhaps the one spot that seems to be unused. Within seconds I'm having to move to let EPT Snowfest runner-up Russell Carson move by. The Canadian is wearing grey sweat pants and a dark navy beanie hat, like he's off to run up the steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art reprising a somewhat lightweight Rocky.

*The actor whose line it was, Nigel Green, has somehow been ushered to one side and the quote attributed to screen legend Michael Caine who played Lt. Gonville Bromhead.

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Jake Cody: taken one in the gut?

Elsewhere ElkY, Sandra Naujoks, Alex Kravchenko, Mike McDonald, Sorel Mizzi and William Thorsson all look deadly serious, facing down the masses with a stony determination. They've all had to beat the hordes before and likely will do so again.

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Alex Kravchenko enjoying the thrill of battle

Then another soldier fell, Adam 'Roothlus' Levy topping his 40,000 stack into Andreas Vlachos' limped aces. Levy submitted to the old early position limp-raise trick, albeit with kings. Another player steps in to fill the breach. This will be repeated again today, tomorrow and the days after that until just one player remains. Around €800,000 will go to the winner from a prize pool of around €3,700,000. Full confirmation is yet to be signed off but the 100 or so players that will make the money will find out about that tomorrow, well before the bubble bursts on Thursday.

But on the upside, there are loads of side events to play too! Click through the link to see what suits or just wander around Berlin instead.

Tournament snapshot
Level 7: blinds 250-500, ante 50
Players: 410 of 543
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Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in Berlin