EPT Copenhagen: The start of a long one. . .

February 17, 2009

At one point yesterday it was touch and go as to whether I’d get to Copenhagen at all. Work related of course, all down to the 25th billionth hand being dealt on PokerStars which happened to flash up a few minutes before I was headed out the door.

But this was landmark stuff, worth keeping the pilot and his crew waiting on the tarmac, and instead of packing my dwindling time was spent watching the flurry of “OMG!”s, the “Woohoo” in the chat and the distribution of $250,000 worth of prizes, all written up in detail on the PokerStars blog.

That we can report that Copenhagen is covered in snow indicates that I made the flight. But if 25 billion hands have been dealt online during PokerStars’s illustrious early years, how many hands have been dealt on the EPT? Hard to guess, but this is the fifth time the EPT has pulled into Copenhagen, a tour stop that has witnessed two of the longest final tables in history. It may not be 25 billion hands, but at times last year it certainly felt like it.

That was all down to a four hour heads-up between American Tim Vance and local man Soren Jensen, a standoff that finished in the small hours when, wrecked with exhaustion, Vance held the trophy aloft, flopping the nuts in the last hand and calling Jensen’s all-in with the memorable line “It’s been nice playing with you sir, I call…”

History suggests we could be in for another long one with Copenhagen being one of the toughest legs of the tour. Registration sells out in record speed and many players, fearless elsewhere, opt to skip this one, sighting top draw opposition as a good reason to save a few grand.

So will this one be another to be forever etched into the EPT history book? Who knows? At least 500 players have descended through the low cloud, mist and into the two inches of Danish snow in pursuit of the highest honour in Scandinavian tournament poker, and the PokerStars blog is the place to follow how they get on.

Watch EPT Copenhagen S5: Promo (English) on PokerStars.tv

Last night the action was set away from the tables in a subterranean late night haunt of Copenhagen’s dancing fun lovers, turned over for the evening to names like Hansen, Lodden, Sahamies, Obrestad and Thorson and other names sure to delight any club manager overseeing a cash register.

As we reported on the blog either late last night Denmark time or early evening in the US, the Scandinavian Poker Awards kept a few people up late, witness to the region’s top players being rewarded for their efforts. Antonius, Eastgate, Sahamies and Betou were gonged. Best in Scandinavia? Best in world…

Hangover or not, they, and other less honoured hopefuls will begin their quest for EPT sunshine shortly. The likes of Noah Boeken and Bertrand Grospellier will grace these halls; Boeken the inaugural Copenhagen champion from season one, Grospellier the victim of a poker mugging back in season three when he so nearly defeated Magnus Petersson.

They’ll be joined by stalwarts Minieri and Mercier, Kravchenko, Thorson and Pagano. Others of note include former Copenhagen winner Mads Andersen, the fearless Annette Obrestad, the Hansens Thor and Gus, Ivan Demidov and of course his nemesis Peter Eastgate.

Who will emerge into the snow victorious? Copenhagen will have the answers for us by night time Saturday. Until then it’s the leg work of early levels, small blinds and a field split in two. Day 1a is upon us.


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