If you’re watching EPTLive at the moment, you will no doubt be enjoying the live coverage of the Tournament of Champions going on this afternoon in the Salle des Etoiles, the poker room at the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final.

But you may or may not know that although it appears to be live it is actually a tape recording. Because the tournament is being broadcast with hole cards exposed, there needs to be a one-hour delay before it actually hits the screens, which creates something of a space-time continuum for those of us in Monaco today.


Tournament room at the Tournament of Champions

The television in the press room – up the stairs, through the rotunda, down the stairs, through the function room, past the desk, through the white door, up the stairs, there, you got it – is broadcasting the delayed feed, while real life is actually going on downstairs, one hour ahead.

It means that when someone walks into the press room they are like a visitor from the future – poker’s Marty McFly, if you will. They know what is about to happen on the screen and as such bring with them a certain sense of awe, like a kid striking up a Chuck Berry number at the Enchantment Under The Sea dance.

There are very strict reporting regulations in place, which mean that no one can spoil the fun for anyone else by casually publishing their startling clairvoyance. We are of course hoping that common sense would prevail if we are all about to be gunned down by Libyan terrorists in the parking lot of Twin Pines Mall, but mostly people are sticking to the directives.


Tournament of Champions television table

Except me. Always the maverick, here’s a little list of things that are happening in the Tournament of Champions that you haven’t yet seen. These are dispatches from the future:

Lucien Cohen is playing the event, which means he has brought his lucky rat along with him. Not only that, but he has a baseball cap that carries the legend: “LUCKY RAT”.

Martin Kabrhel is patrolling the area, maybe wondering whether he can persuade anyone to convert his four EPT side event wins into a Tournament of Champions qualification. (The answer is no.)

Arnaud Mattern is having a very deep massage on his lower leg and foot, a tonic for his latest sports injury. Mattern spends a lot of time on crutches these days, taking a little too literally the actors’ good luck mantra “break a leg”.

Vicky Coren is multi-tabling the ladies’ event and the Tournament of Champions. She is paying slightly closer attention to the ladies’ event, where they are on the bubble.

Meanwhile Scott Seiver is looking for the €10,000 Turbo event.

Actually, in further side-event news, Dan Smith is looking for a sensational coup this week. He has already won two tournaments – the €5,000 no limit hold ’em (worth €250,500) and the €5,000 no limit hold ’em six max turbo (€152,980). He is now on the final table of the cross between both of them: the €5,000 no limit hold ’em six max. Unbelievable stuff.


The High Roller, our main focus here, is down to four players. And what a four they are. Daniel Negreanu has assumed the chip lead after winning a huge pot from Philipp Gruissem.


Daniel Negreanu, leading the High Roller

Latest counts (which you can see by clicking on the chip counts tab on this page) shows that Negreanu has more than a two-to-one lead over Justin Bonomo now.

Igor Kurganov and Gruissem are still battling too, and the hand-by-hand stuff is hotting up. Don’t forget, you can click here for live updates, chip counts and payout information from the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final High Roller.


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