Planes, trains and automobiles. The customary manners in which poker players tend to travel to tournaments across the European Poker Tour. However in Vienna this week, where the EPT descends for only the third time, the best way to approach is via horse-drawn carriage. Really.
This week, as you’ll know if you’ve been following coverage of the Eureka Poker Tour, we are located in the Hofburg Palace, the former residence of the Habsburg dynasty. There will no doubt be plenty more coverage detailing these utterly outstanding surroundings, but suffice to say it has never been more sumptuous.
Frescos adorn the ceiling, marble columns line the doorways and carriages steered by men in bowler hats are parked outside. They clip-clop through the narrow city streets, where everyone is nobility.
“This tournament room is the first tournament room that had I not been contractually obliged to be here, I’d have come to anyway,” a noted press-room cynic just observed. “I’d have bought a ticket.”
Today, we are expecting several hundred people to do exactly that: buy a ticket, costing €5,300, to play in the EPT Main Event. The numbers are expected to be remarkable. Over the past week, 1,432 players entered the Eureka main event, which was a record, and then another 455 played the Eureka high roller, also a record.
By last night 330 players, including 265 PokerStars qualifiers, were already registered for the EPT Main Event. That puts us on course for a record. The last time we were in Vienna, Michael Eiler beat 578 players. We will knock that total into a cocked hat.
As ever, the coverage will be comprehensive here on PokerStars Blog. There will be hand-by-hand action, including chip counts, in the panel on the main EPT Vienna page. Colour pieces and features will filter in below that.
The tournament is about to begin, so enjoy.
Here’s Sarah Grant’s video introduction to proceedings: