Blinds are 25-50 in the first level, introduced by tournament director Thomas Kremser and his French equivalent. The music played as the order was given to shuffle up and deal, a collection of musical numbers that was cut short by one player’s request for silence during an above average rendition of Mr Bojangles. That makes Bojangles the first casualty from a field that features names familiar to the tour, detailed on the chip count page which will be updated throughout the day.
At the stage end of the ball room four former EPT champions sit within a table of each other making it technically, if not practically possible, to walk from one side of the room to the other standing only on their heads. ElkY, Vicky Coren, Joao Barbosa and Arnaud Mattern making the room top heavy.
Vicky Coren was always a regular in Deauville, glad to be back and wearing, as a tribute, what she called her ‘special French EPT hat’, homage to the actor, singer and the French President’s wife Carla Bruni, who wore a dove grey Chanel beret on a recent state visit to the UK.
“I’d call it a pill box, beret” she said. “Tragically it’s not Chanel, and it’s about one-hundredth of the price.”
Coren would have swapped cut price elegance for a practical baseball cap early on; sitting in what seemed like the only seat in the room bathed in afternoon sunlight. The curtains were eventually drawn, but not before David Daraux in seat seven came out of the sun with a pair of eights, taking an early pot from the Team Pro.