Players head to Poland for EPT event


After a few weeks off, the European Poker Tour returns to action Tuesday with the Polish Open in booming Warsaw, Poland.

This is the second year for the PokerStars EPT at Casinos Poland in historic Warsaw, the capital and largest city of Poland. Last year's Season 3 event was a late addition to the EPT schedule after the French Open at Deauville had to be cancelled.

The 2008 Polish Open features a buy-in of 21,000 PLN (approx. €5,750), up from 15,000 PLN the year before, and the field is capped at 400 players. Well over a quarter of those seats are reserved for players who qualified through PokerStars satellites and members of Team PokerStars.

Among those players is Katja Thater, who topped all Team PokerStars players in Warsaw last year when she finished fifth out of 284 entrants. Already confirmed to join Thater in her quest for the final table are teammates Greg Raymer, Luca Pagano and Dario Minieri.

Last year's 15,000 PLN Polish Open drew a field of 284 entries, building a prize pool of 4,007,000 PLN ($1,357,799). Seven European nations were represented at the final table, but host nation Poland was not among them.

The final saw Denmark's Peter Willers Jepsen take down the biggest tournament score of his career when he outlasted France's Farid Meraghni in a 90-minute, back-and-forth heads-up battle for the championship. The final table ended up looking like this:


Peter Willers Jepsen
1,226,711 PLN ($415,679)
Farid Meraghni
708,225 PLN ($239,987)
John Conroy
424,935 PLN ($143,992)
Marius Skoglund Torbergsen
303,525 PLN ($102,851)
Katja Thater
250,914 PLN ($85,024)
Andrew O'Flaherty
198,303 PLN ($67,196)
7th Patrick Martenson
157,833 PLN ($53,483)
Frederik Hostrup
113,316 PLN ($38,398)

As usual with stops on the EPT, the week of poker kicks off with a welcome party for the players the night before the tournament. Tonight's party is at Foksal, Poland's premier nightclub, where PokerStars will provide free food and drinks as well as a DJ.

In addition to the largest share of a prize pool chock full of Polish zlotys, whoever emerges victorious in Warsaw will claim the next-to-last remaining free seat in the Grand Final available on the Season 4 EPT schedule. The EPT San Remo event in Italy next month will award the last freeroll in the EPT's big bash in Monte Carlo.

Most stops on the EPT are filmed for broadcast on the tour's television series, but this year's Polish Open will not be televised. Luckily for you, our loyal readers,'s crack reporting team will be on the scene in Warsaw to keep us apprised of who's on top, who's on the rail, and what poker looks like in the heart of modern Poland.

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