EPT Monte Carlo: Danger around every corner

April 28, 2009

This is the time, at the start of a major tournament, that we walk the room in search of the stars and the juicy tables, seeking the serendipitous table draws that have thrown together a clutch of the brightest stars. (Serendipitous for the spectator, at least – try telling some of the players that.)

Here in Monte Carlo, the tournament room is bigger than it has ever previously been, and yet the need to pace it seems less pressing. One reason is that this is arguably (hell, inarguably) the most star-studded a European poker field as has ever been assembled. There is a legend on every table. Furthermore, our ringside seat in the tournament arena has placed two mighty impressive tables right in front of us. Without even moving my eyes through more than 45 degrees I can see Marcin Horecki sitting next to Raul Mestre on a table also featuring Arnaud Mattern and Alberto Font.

A little to the right, Andrew Chen lines up against Dennis Phillips and Alexandre Gomes, along with the PokerStars Supernova Elite Daniel Wallace, from Evansville, Indiana. There will be more to come about Wallace later: we’re letting him settle into his table before dropping by later for a proper chat, photo and maybe even a video.

In other news, Luca Pagano has been drawn on the same table as Mike “Timex” McDonald, the two of them renewing their acquaintance from the final table in Dortmund last month. This time, they’ve also got Greg Raymer in their midst. Meanwhile Phil Ivey has been seen stalking the tournament floor. No word yet if he’s playing today or not, but it seems highly probable that he’ll be in the mix on one day or the other.

Cards are in the air. They’re playing eight, one-hour levels today, as they will tomorrow, before we revert to 75 minute levels from day two onwards. Stay tuned, etc, etc and so forth.

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