All the effort this week and this year, has come to this, the last eight of the PokerStars EPT Grand Final. Already there are a few signs that this will be another fitting send off. Dealers are bunched in the corner, being briefed on their orders for the day, smoke-belching indoor pyrotechnics have been tried and tested, ready to kick off celebrations later tonight and even a large cruise liner is moored just a few hundred meters from the windows of the Salle des Etoiles. It’s almost as if the captain knew what is about to happen here and didn’t want to be too far away.
Then of course there are the players, who line up like this…
Seat 1 – Peter Traply, Hungary, PokerStars qualifier, 4,365,000
Seat 2 – Mikhail Tulchinskiy, Russia, 3,220,000
Seat 3 – Eric Qu, France, 2,880,000
Seat 4 – Peter De Korver, Holland, PokerStars player, 2,500,000
Seat 5 – Alem Shah, Germany, PokerStars qualifier, 1,490,000
Seat 6 – Daniel Zink, Gemany, 1,865,000
Seat 7- Martin Woodward, USA, PokerStars qualifier, 4,560,000
Seat 8 – Dag Martin Mikkelsen, Norway, 7,315,000
Put simply their job is the usual one – to win. The stakes are high, the rewards are big and the pressure more intense than ever.
That’s what’s instore today. The players are here, floating near the stage as finishing touches are made by the TV people and photographers capture last pre-tournament images.
Once they’re in position we’ll be under way. You can watch every hand from start to finish, on EPT Live, with the soundtrack of expert commentary, analysis and riffling.