EPT picks up action again in Poland

Katja Thater
Will Katja Thater make the final table again?

After a layoff of more than three weeks since Jason Mercier and Michael Martin claimed wins in London, the fifth season of the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour resumes this weekend with the EPT Warsaw.

Casinos Poland in Warsaw is the venue for the EPT's third visit to the historic Polish capital, a PLN 21,000 buy-in tournament scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m. local time on Saturday afternoon.

The field is capped at 400 players this year, a number that's likely to be reached given the growing popularity of the EPT in general and tournaments in Eastern Europe in particular. The field will be divided into two starting days.

The only Team PokerStars Pro to play on Day 1a will be Season 4 EPT Grand Final champion Gavin Griffin, who still ranks second all-time on the EPT leaderboard for cash winnings.


He will be joined by a number of PokerStars sponsored players, including Season 5 EPT Barcelona champ Sebastian Rutherberg and EPT hostess (and 2008 WSOP Main Event casher) Kara Scott.

The rest of the Team PokerStars Pros in attendance will be playing on Sunday during Day 1b. Their ranks include Poland's native son Marcin Horecki and EPT superstar Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, as well as German pro Katja Thater. The first major final table on Thater's poker resume came in Warsaw in 2007, a performance that saw her fall in fifth place.

The remaining players from each Day 1 will combine to play Day 2 on Monday, with the final table being set at the end of Day 3 on Tuesday. The final table will begin at 2 p.m. local time on Wednesday and continue play until a champion is crowned.

This weekend's tournament marks the third time that Warsaw will play host to Europe's poker masses. For a relatively new stop on the tour, EPT Warsaw has already seen its share of captivating poker.

It was Denmark's Peter Jepsen who won the first ever EPT stop in Eastern Europe as Season 3 wrapped up in the Polish capital back in March 2007. The tournament that year was a last-minute replacement for a tournament in Deauville, France, that was canceled.

Jepsen made the trip to Warsaw and took home the equivalent of $415,679 for his win over a field of 284, capped by a heads-up win over Frenchman Farid Meraghni.

In March of this year, German stock trader Michael Schulze conquered a field of 384 players and took the equivalent of $926,220 for taking home Season 4's EPT Warsaw title. Schulze went wire-to-wire despite some tough competition from Portugal's Ricardo Sousa and Norway's Trond Eidsvig, who made his third final table of the season.

As usual, PokerListings.com will be on the scene to bring you full reports on the action from Warsaw, so be sure to check out our Live Tournaments section all weekend to keep up with the latest EPT news.


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