Welcome all to Portugal for the first time Europe’s premiere poker tour has made it to the Algarve. The surroundings are unfamiliar, but for many of us the drill is exactly the same. We’ll be playing the same structure, the same game, and for the same amount of time as we usually do; things don’t change that much.
For any newcomers, here’s what we can expect over the coming few days. Consider this your print-off and keep bullet-point guide to EPT Vilamoura:
This is a five-day tournament, starting today (Tuesday) and ending with a final table on Sunday. Day one is divided into two tiers, so today is Day 1A, tomorrow is Day 1B, Thursday is Day 2, Friday is Day 3, Saturday is Day 4 and Sunday is the final table, or Day 5 by any other name.
Each of the two day ones will play out over eight, one-hour levels. There is a 15 minute tournament break at the end of every other level — level two, level four and level six. There is no dinner break scheduled, meaning play is likely to end at around 9pm.
The complete number of runners today will only be known at the end of level two, when registrations close. The same applies to tomorrow, meaning the size of the total field will be known at around 3pm Wednesday. After that, the bean-counters will figure out how the prize money will be allocated.
Players start with stacks of 30,000 chips. When they lose their last one, they are out.
For the first couple of days, PokerStars blog will intersperse feature posts (much like this one) and level-by-level action posts (this kind of thing) to bring you a complete tournament overview. As the tournament gets to its business end, we’ll go all-out-action.
Portuguese law prohibits photography in casinos, meaning there won’t be much pictorial evidence that what we write is true. We’ve got ourselves a little studio, where some of the players will likely pose for a few snaps. But other than that, it’s ink polaroids all the way.
We’ll also have the usual video blogs from in and around Vilamoura and the casino. They’re always available on PokerStars blog, or over at PokerStars.tv.
That’s that for now. Remember:
All the best tournament coverage: PokerStars Blog.
All the latest chip counts: Chip-count page
Tournament structure: EPT structure page
Televisual delights: PokerStars.tv