EPT9 Berlin Day 1A: Sun shines on main event opening day
The European Poker Tour woke up in Berlin today, the penultimate leg of the tour's ninth season. The sunshine and blue skies serve as a welcome reminder that the tour has shed its winter coat now basks in its spring prime, just in time for the remaining two events here and in Monte Carlo next month.
Germany has always been a lively poker destination, Berlin more so after the EPT's previous setting in the Dortmund outback. Today, buoyed by a combination of clement weather and a reputation for this being a potentially prosperous week, the crowds have descended on the Hyatt.
The Brandenburg Gate
Inside the field is traditionally shoehorned into every corner, both here and across the street from where we are in the Grand Hyatt, in the Spielbank Casino which, when the Hyatt fills up, will be a tranquil corner of peace and quiet in an otherwise frenetic tournament.
Berlin boasts another draw, that being the world outside. Like many stops on the EPT, outside is a city to be explored, with pages of European history written on every corner. For those who prefer not to read the same corners tend to feature a suitable bar serving much needed refreshment.
That world awaits those whose efforts in the main event fall some way short of their expected destination, but for now, quite rightly, everybody harbours delusions of victory.
In store is a long day at the tables for this first flight. You can follow all the action on the PokerStars Blog, with features throughout the day as well as live updates on our EPT Berlin coverage page.
Don't forget, you can also watch the action for yourself on the live stream, courtesy of EPT Live, with James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton once again in the booth, starting a little later this afternoon. Follow the links to find that coverage throughout the day.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter