The EPT season ten schedule was released this morning, which no doubt resulted in several of the circuit regulars assaulting their diaries with a big yellow highlighter pen. Pierre Neuville, for instance, now knows precisely where he will be for eight of the next 52 weeks, and the time in between is likely to be spent earning his passage online.
“I am the only player to have played all of the last 50 EPTs,” Neuville said proudly during the first break of play today. “Every one.” Asked what it would take for him to miss an EPT event, Neuville was unequivocal: “I will die.”
Other familiar faces seem to take a more relaxed approach to their tournament scheduling, however, turning up on a whim when they feel like it, picking and choosing only one or two stops to play throughout the year.
If you have the lifestyle and bankroll to dip in to high stakes tournament poker only as and when you feel, you may as well make Monaco your destination of choice — a practice otherwise known as doing a Wahlroos.
The Finnish player who answers to that moniker (Thomas is his first name) has arrived to Monaco for what will be his season nine debut. He’s warming up in the Open-Face Chinese tournament at the moment, but I suspect he’ll play the main event too and maybe a high roller or two.
The last time we saw Wahlroos was here in Monaco 12 months ago, and prior to that it was in London also during last season. He won a six-max high roller there for more than a quarter of a million euros, and so he’s still in the black for the past couple of seasons at least. (Whisper it, but he also has some other business ventures that make him a good wedge of cash.)
Mark Teltscher is another of a similar breed, who probably has the game to play poker professionally but doesn’t turn up at many of the EPT events any more. He won EPT London in season two and finished 11th here in Monaco that same season, before finishing second behind Sander Lyllof in Barcelona a couple of years later. But his business concerns tend to keep him occupied these days, and he only seems to come to Monaco just to give his Ferrari a run out.
It’s not confirmed if he has brought it here this time, but he certainly always used to drive himself across France and through the mountains to Monaco. And why not.
Tournament update: Word has reached us that today’s Day 1A will have eight 75-minute levels, including a 90-minute dinner break. That will take us close to 1am, so don’t wait up.
A quick note on how to follow our coverage. Head to the main EPT Monaco page, where you will find hand-by-hand coverage from the tables in the panel at the top of the page, which also includes current chip counts.