As if it wasn’t hard enough to see off over a thousand opponents studded among them today are the kind of players that can really ruin your day at the table.
Notable table line ups include Dario Minieri and Katja Thater seated beside each other. At the next table Andrea Benelli, who has either gone deep or come close several times this season, has Jani Sointula, Rasmus Nielsen and Jonas Molander to contend with.
Illari Sahamies shares a table with John Tabatabai while Juan Maceiras, Sebastian Ruthenberg and Joris Jaspers will get to know each other in these early stages.
Already there are some signs of strain, whether they’re for comic effect or not. Frederick Hostrup was calling for a re-buy inside the first orbit of hands and elsewhere pots featuring more red chips (worth 1,000) than you’d expect (with blinds at 25-50) are starting to pop up, shaping the early chip leaders.
Max Pescatori strode in slightly late, but not late enough to miss shaking hands with countryman, lots of them, on his weave through the tournament room to his seat. While at the other end of the room Patrik Antonius will spend at least these early levels opposite his wife Maya and Friend of PokerStars Bill Chen.
Others include finalists from last season Eric Koskas and Dag Palovic. Tournament host Luca Pagano shares a table with Julian Thew and Flying Dutchman Marcel Luske’s table features EPT stalwarts Andreas Krause and Martin Wendt.