Tuesday, March 27, 2007

EPT Grand Final - slumming it in Monte Carlo

The EPT Grand Final is set to smash all records for a poker tournament in Europe, or indeed anywhere outside the USA. The first record - and it's a toughie - is that I am already the most excited I have ever been before a poker tournament anywhere outside Las Vegas, apart from Poland last week which was VERY exciting, and Baden (because of the food) and also last year's Hold'em 100 (because I thought I might cash).

The other records that the EPT Season 3 Grand Final is about to blast into smithereens are as follows:

  • Biggest prize pool - over 6 million euros, but I prefer to translate this into Polish Zloty and it comes to exactly 23,217,164.
  • Biggest top prize outside the USA - over 1.6 million euros
  • Most glamorous location (apart from the Holy Innocents Church Hall, Hammersmith where we held the Hold'em100 in 2000 and 2001)
  • Most excited anyone has ever seen John Duthie (including both when he won the Poker Million six years ago and also when he thought his plastic horse might come in before mine at the Sun Casino last night)

    Below is an image of Our Leader, explaining his "vision" for the opening ceremony to Simon Young. John has just got to the bit about the trapeze artists abseiling down from the ceiling of the Salle des Etoiles to sprinkle rare orchid blossoms on the players.

    Let's not forget that John thought this whole thing up in the bath. Not just the orchid blossoms, the whole European Poker Tour. More than 650 players, 200 journalists and 25 pickpockets are here just because of him. Nice.

    However, EPTs are expensive and costs had to be cut somewhere. Conrad, Sven and Tamar selflessly opted out of the helicopter ride into Monaco and took the bus instead.

    The Welcome Party starts in two hours, ten minutes and although I spent Saturday wrapped in seaweed at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort Spa, it hasn't really diminished my waistline quite as much as I'd hoped. I am therefore going to spend this time doing sit-ups.

    Party report to follow.....and in case, for some technical reason, I am unable to file a report, check out Brad Willis and Simon Young's PokerStars blog