EPT9 Prague: The kaleidoscope wheel of nationalities

December 10, 2012

Once registration is closed and the beans have been counted properly, the analysis begins on the make-up of the field. It’s often a fascinating business to see where all the players come from, especially in a tournament as big as this. Our total field featured 864 players, each parting with €5,000. It often seems that the poker economy is stronger than any belonging to a nation state.

Under normal circumstances, the most prevalent nationality of main event competitors is the country in which the tournament is hosted. Barcelona will be stacked with Spanish, Sanremo with Italians and so forth, all the way through the Brit-heavy fields of London, the French in Deauville and the Deutchies showing up in droves for Deutschland.

But the Czech Republic is ideally located slap-bang in the heart of Europe, with easy connections across the globe. It means that this event in particular attracts one of the most diverse fields in world poker, with no one nation massively outnumbering any other.

Indeed, after our tireless media co-ordinator Mad Harper sent round her customary EPT Nationalities pie-chart (below), PokerStars Blog’s Rick Dacey was heard to comment: “That’s no pie-chart. It’s a kaleidoscope wheel.”


The biggest single representation comes from Russia, with 12 per cent of the field (102 players). But the section named “Others” is actually the largest. Players from countries such as Uzbekistan, Albania, China, Algeria and Turks and Caicos Islands, when grouped together, represent 16 per cent of the field.

That is unusual.

The Czech Republic itself has provided 3 per cent of this field (29 players), while its immediate neighbours are also well represented. Ten per cent have come from Germany (86) to the west, while 3 per cent have abandoned the eastward outpost of Poland (23). Slovakia have sent over 2 per cent of the field (15), with only those in the south, in Austria, not really pulling their weight. Only 1 per cent (seven) have headed up from Vienna and environs.

Last year’s country of the year, Lebanon, has this time contributed 3 per cent of the field (23 players), which means they may find it hard going to replicate the awesome hit rate of season eight. As discussed yesterday, Lebanese players had an approximate one-in-four cash rate last season, but the coefficient system used to determine country of the year favours smaller delegations.

Better news for fans of Irish poker, by the way. There are 14 players from the Emerald Isle here this week, which is a definite uptick on other recent events. Ireland is still searching for its first EPT title and is getting somewhere close to sending the numbers that may ensure it sometime soon.

Of the other countries that have never produced a champion, Romania has sent the most to Prague this week (29 players) followed by Spain (28) and Greece (28). One time?

Full stats (with thanks again to Mad Harper):

(Country, No of players, % of field)

Russia 102 12%
Germany 86 10%
UK 61 7%
France 50 6%
USA 48 6%
Canada 39 5%
Italy 35 4%
Sweden 31 4%
Czech Republic 29 3%
Romania 29 3%
Greece 28 3%
Spain 28 3%
Lebanon 23 3%
Netherlands 23 3%
Poland 23 3%
Ukraine 20 2%
Finland 17 2%
Slovakia 15 2%
Ireland 14 2%
Hungary 12 2%
Denmark 12 1%
Israel 12 1%
Portugal 11 1%
Norway 10 1%
Belgium 9 1%
Bulgaria 9 1%
Lithuania 9 1%
Austria 7 1%
Belarus 5 1%
Estonia 5 1%
Switzerland 5 1%
Azerbaijan 4
Brazil 4
Georgia 4
Cyprus 3
Latvia 3
Mexico 3
Montenegro 3
Slovenia 3
Turkey 3
Australia 2
China 2
Croatia 2
Serbia 2
Albania 1
Algeria 1
Armenia 1
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1
Colombia 1
Egypt 1
Hong Kong 1
Iceland 1
India 1
Japan 1
Kazakhstan 1
Korea 1
Macedonia 1
Moldova 1
Panama 1
Saudi Arabia  1
Turks and Caicos Islands 1
Uzbekistan  1
Venezuela 1
Total 864

Follow hand-by-hand coverage, plus latest chip counts, in the panel at the top of the main EPT Prague page.


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