EPT Monte Carlo: Four to one

May 02, 2009

EPTThe Salle des Etoire at the Sporting Club in Monaco has undergone countless transformations during its week as the home of the EPT Grand Final. On Tuesday, it was part iconic nightspot and part charity office as the stars turned out to Ante Up for Africa, then through the past four days it has been the most salubrious poker-tournament-venue-with-a-retractable-roof-and-panoramic-view of Monte Carlo that the world has ever seen.

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Today, it has changed again, and we are now filling the role as extras on a television set. The curtain on the stage has been pulled back to reveal the EPT featured table, where eight of the remaining 31 players will have their every move scrutinised by the cameras, cynical commentators, forum-posters and bin-men of the peerless EPTLive. Table three has the honours as the first to be given the television treatment, with these eight having microphone wires shoved up their T-shirts even as I type:

Seat one – Alain Roy, France, 507,000
Seat two – Ludovic Lacay, France, 2,235,000
Seat three – Grigory Zima, Russia, 1,313,000
Seat four – Alexander Morozov, Russia, 1,202,000
Seat five – Annette Obrestad, Norway, 668,000
Seat six – Marc Naalden, Holland, 1,770,000
Seat seven – Amichai Barer, Canada, 578,000
Seat eight – Daniel Zink, Germany, 723,000

No one will be needing much introduction to many of those. Lacay is the Frenchman who reached a fork in the road at the age of about 18, one path marked rock-star, the other marked professional poker player, with him somehow managing to go both ways at once. Naalden is the EPT veteran, with one final table on season two kicking off a spectacular three years of high-level tournament success. Alain Roy won a million euros a few miles from here at a tournament in Cannes a couple of years back. Ami Barer has been in and around the chip lead here for three days, seeing off the likes of Sami Kelopuro and Luca Pagano along the way. And Obrestad is Annette Obrestad. Enough said.

At the start of the day, however, they are only one quarter of today’s whole. Each of the players listed below will jockey and shove for their chance to hog the limelight tomorrow, when we will play from a final table of eight down to a champion of €2,300,000. Filling those final table seats is today’s task.

Here is your cast of stars:

Player Country Status Chip Count
Matthew Woodward USA 2726000
Ludovic Lacay France 2235000
Marc Naalden Holland 1770000
Johannes Strassmann Germany ShootingStar 1612000
Steven Silverman USA PokerStars player 1509000
Peter Traply Hungary PokerStars Qualifier 1449000
Bart Spijkers Holland 1377000
Grayson Physioc 1340000
Grigory Zima Russia 1313000
Alexander Morozov Russia PokerStars player 1202000
George Danzer Germany ShootingStar 881000
Alem Shah Germany PokerStars Qualifier 846000
Jason Somerville USA PokerStars Qualifier 845000
Olivier Douce France 788000
Daniel Zink Germany 723000
Roger Hairabedian Morrocco 676000
Annette Obrestad Norway 668000
Christopher Rossiter UK PokerStars Qualifier 645000
Leonardo Patacconi Italy PokerStars Qualifier 578000
Amicha Barer Canada 578000
Pieter De Korver Holland PokerStars sponsored player 565000
Dag Martin Mikkelsen Norway 553000
Vadim Shlez USA 518000
Alain Roy France 507000
Gilbert Diaz France 495000
Sergio Castelluccio Italy 466000
Eric Qu France 321000
Mikhail Tulchinskiy Russia 256000
Jaime Vilela South Africa 253000
Patrick Wymann Switzerland PokerStars Qualifier 225000
John Cernuto USA 166000

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