The red buses and telephone boxes, the policemen in funny hats, the black cabs, the palace and Her Majesty peeking out through the curtains; Oxford Street, Parliament, the Thames, Marble Arch, palace guards in red tunics and bearskins, heavy traffic and bookmakers on every corner. They’re all getting mentions again in the PokerStars blog – it can only be the start of the EPT London.
Those images may be the ‘quick flick through the tour book’ view of London, but that scenary doesn’t change much when you look out of any window high up in this city. And this week the various sights and sounds of the Edgware Road bring together something else this week – several hundred members of poker’s elite at the famous ‘Vic’ Casino.
Last year it was an unassuming realtor from Beirut, Lebanon, Joseph Mouawad who played his way to a first prize of £611,500. The year before it was Team PokerStars Pro Vicky Coren in a memorable home field victory that, as the champagne corks popped, made her into an EPT legend. Who’s it to be in season five?
We’re not averse to strained analogies in our coverage so it’s enough to say that unlike the British weather (and we’ll try to make only brief references to that) there’ll be nothing predictable about the tournament this week. Only to say that when the winner holds aloft the trophy this Sunday it won’t be without having played the tournament of their life over four hard days of play.
But we wouldn’t want it any other way.
We expect a field chock full of familiars, including enough sparkling Team PokerStars Pros to rival the lights on the nearby Telecom Tower. They include EPT Player of the Year Luca Pagano, previous winner Vicky Coren, Hevad Khan, Vanessa Rousso and Chad Brown, Alex Kravchenko, Victor Ramdin, Gavin Griffin… I could go on.
There are all sorts of sights for any visitor of London to grow fond of, but for those whose work begins today in the Victoria Casino the only sight they’re interested in is the ultimate prize, the EPT title and a bag of pounds sterling (double that for dollars) come Sunday.
That’s all ahead of us and we’ll have details of who else graces this European home of poker in a short while. Before then here’s a reminder of what’s in store…
Watch EPT LONDON 08: Welcome Party on PokerStars.tv