A massive field packed with big names has hit the shores of Monaco this time around with 641 entries this year crushing the 531 from last year.
Despite tables full of notables in every corner it's the unheralded Latz who sits atop the counts after Days 1A/B with 191,600.
Ivey, Blom Advance
Close behind him however are plenty of bug guns capable of shooting him down including Triple Crown winner Davidi Kitai (173,100), Talal Shakerchi (159,500), JC Alvarado (145,00), Tom Middleton (124,000) and Scott Clements (123,300) among the leaders.
Viktor Blom, Annette Obrestad and Johnny Lodden, who sat side-by-each at one table today, Bertrand Grospellier, Phil Ivey, Sam Trickett and Chris Moneymaker are just a few of the other notables to advance among the 347 set to hit the tables tomorrow.
The main tournament is hardly the only action happening inside the Monte Carlo casino, however, as huge cash games, TV show filming, OFC tourneys and more are all getting their share of the attention.
Our tournament team is on the floor in the heart of it and grabbed a few bits and pieces to keep you up to speed. Catch daily live streaming from the EPT Grand Final main event right here on PokerListings.
EPT Grand Final -- Days 1A/1B Bits and Pieces
- Two episodes of the upcoming PokerStars Shark Cage show are being filmed in Monaco. The All Star line-up for the first heat: Two-time EPT champ Vicky Coren Mitchell, Patrik Antonius, Gus Hansen, David Williams, Maria Ho and Canadian qualifier Matthew “squirthew” Herminiano.
- Gus Hansen was the first to go into the Shark Cage. A bluff gone wrong was called by one of the ladies at the table and he was overheard saying “I never thought she would call with ace high on the river."
- There are two online qualifiers. The top 50 online qualifiers were auditioned. The two picks are Herminiano from Canada, who is dressed up as something that could be a leopard but also a marsupiai, and Frederik ”FiSHeye1984” Keitel from Germany, a long-time high-stakes cash-game player and by no means an amateur fish.
- The second heat line-up consisted of Isaac Haxton, Bill Perkins, Antonio Esfandiari, Vanessa Selbst, Keitel and Bertrand Grospellier.
- EPT boss Edgar Stuchly said they don‘t expect to have more than one additional stop on EPT Season 11 on top of the five they just announced plus the PCA. The additional stop is not yet official but they are talking to people in Vienna.
- Scott Seiver busted from the WPT Championship in Atlantic City last week (although he was chip leader for a while), jumped on a plane, arrived in Monaco, jumped off the plane, jumped into the €5k PLO and eventually jumped up and down after he won it. Also at the final table was Yevgeni Timoshenko. Winning cash: €57,700.
- Dutchman Paul Berende won the side event where players had the most fun so far: the €2,200 Open Face Chinese tournament. Win: €19.400. Said Berende: “It’s awesome, especially as the game feels more like a home game because all the cards are open, everybody’s relaxed, you know.”
Even Gus looks unsettled in a shark cage.
- A Dutch TV crew is filming epsiodes for a TV series called “Bluff”. Press text: In the series, which is called “Bluff”, Fatima is playing the character of “Fiona” and the show will also feature EPT presenter Gaelle Garcia Diaz (playing herself), Team PokerStars Pro Theo Jorgensen as “Wild Bill” and Matthias and Christophe De Meulder in cameo roles. Bluff tells the story of an amateur poker player called Phillip (played by actor Achmed Akkabi) whose life is changed overnight after he wins a massive poker tournament. (see pictures “dutch-TV-crew”)
- Gus Hansen was playing OFC with Christoph Haller (experienced live poker player) in the cash-game area. Judging from the chips at the time, Haller was winning
- One table in the ME had Viktor Blom, Jonny Lodden, and Annette Obrestad next to each other (see picture)
- Rumor: Vicky Coren Mitchell tipped €50,000 to the Casino Sanremo staff after her victory in last week's EPT San Remo main event.
- Hero call of the day: Bubble play in the €2,200 FPS high roller tournament. The river shows a board with 764A7 and our hero checks. His opponent, who covers him, shoves and puts him on a decision. Finally our hero makes a really remarkable call with AK, gets shown 76, and out he is.
- 20 cash game tables were running as of 3 PM yesterday. All sorts of games including NLHE, PLO, 5-card PLO, 6-card PLO with up to three boards. Limits go up to €50/€100, with one high roller table 100-100-200, with Niki Jedlicka, Jonas Kronwitter, Khiem Nguyen, Max Lehmanski. Wait list featured Halabaros Voulgaris.
- A surprising guest showed up at the big PLO cash game. Two weeks ago Cyril “The Frenchman” Mouly escaped a deadly knife attack (while his intervening driver died) and now he sits among some of the best cash-game players in the world. In the poker community Mouly became known in 2009 when he played big cash games at the Bellagio in Las Vegas with Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey etc. and in the Full Tilt Million Dollar Cash Game.
- Win a hotel room for the EPT Barcelona. Drive the fastest lap on the virtual F1 circuit of Monaco and you can win a hotel room for the EPT Barcelona. No cost, goes on the whole week, one attempt a day, 200 players on the list, but nobody queues so you have a good chance to get your try quickly
EPT Grand Final has big guns everywhere.
- Coren busted in level 4 of Day 1A with queens against aces of Chris Oliver. There will be no triple EPT winner (yet).
- Coren playing the first level of EPT Grand Final: “People living here are so rich, you don’t really have to charge them 800 Euro for a hotel room.”
- Antonio Esfandiari started a game of “Lodden thinks” with Nick Maimone taking over the role of Jonny Lodden. The question was how many people in the main event believe in god. Instead of coming up with a number, the players started discussing what god is.
- €20 pizza, burger, €9 beer, €17 glass of champagne, €430 Dom Perignon
- A new high-stakes cash=game started after midnight last night featuring Tom Dwan, Dan Smith, Isaac Haxton, Philipp Gruissem and a couple of the famous “Asian businessmen." The stakes are not official but rumored to be €500/€1,000.