EPT9 Deauville High Roller: Familiar faces, bigger field

When players and staff on the European Poker Tour need a reference point for comedy tournaments, they turn to the so-called High Roller event at EPT Kyiv in season six. It was certainly expensive enough to qualify as a High Roller--it cost €20,000 to play--but the field wasn't exactly the toughest ever assembled.

It wasn't the quality, actually, it was the quantity. There were only three players involved.

It is remarkable, however, to track the incredible rise in popularity of High Roller events since then, and it seems far longer than only three seasons ago that it was a three-handed affair. We have written many times since then about how the fields continue to swell and swell, and how the buy-ins have also rocketed skyward. We have Super High Roller tournaments now that attract about 20 times as many players as that event in Kyiv.

The Deauville High Roller began this afternoon, with at least 76 players in the mix. I say "at least" because this is a re-buy event, permitting busted players to part with another €10,000 any time up until the end of Day 1--and for any others to register for the first time up to then as well. It means we may see some stragglers join the fray any time through the ten levels scheduled for play today, which will take us to about 1.30am.

As ever with High Rollers, there are a lot of familiar faces. Over on EPT Live at the moment, Eugene Katchalov, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Michael Tureniec do battle.

elky_ept9_deauville_high_roller_day1.jpg

ElkY: The very definition of a High Roller

Martin Jacobsen plays against Steve O'Dwyer and Davidi Kitai on an outer table. Kevin MacPhee lines up with Dominik Nitsche. Anton Wigg plays Dimitar Danchev. At one point there were only three tables (from nine) that did not feature a former EPT champion, and at least two had multiple.

The first High Roller in Deauville was one of those that took place before the High Roller boom. It attracted only 26 entries and was won by Martin Kabrhel. Antony Lellouche and Kristopher Thorson were the only other two players paid, but none of those is here for this one.

Still plenty to follow, though. Stay tuned to our High Roller page for live updates. And you might want to dip in to see how the main event wrapped too.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in High Roller