Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Travel Report: 2013 EPT Deauville Main Event, Day 1b

Have quickly slipped back into the familiar work routine here in Deauville, where this year’s PokerStars.fr EPT Deauville Main Event is now in full swing.

Yesterday’s second and last Day 1 flight saw 475 players come out after 307 participated on Sunday. That total of 782 is down a bit from the 889 who played in the event last year. I think coming right on the heels of both the PCA and Aussie Millions likely keeps a few folks from trekking over to Europe who might play otherwise, but it’s still a healthy number with a big €770,000 first prize awaiting the winner.

These first two days added up to about 14-hour workdays, all told, although it’s likely we’ll have a few shorter days during the week as the tourney is scheduled to continue all of the way through Saturday. Am hopeful that means there will be some chances to get out a bit for some dining and perhaps even a promenade or two to do some sight-seeing before it’s all over.

I’ve mentioned before how this marks a kind of return trip for me as I lived in the north of France before many years ago (in Lille). Was kind of transported the day of my arrival when I spent a little bit of time walking up and down the street on which the hotel is located, including visiting the Carrefour to stock up on a few supplies for the week.

As I did I remembered vividly that year in Lille and the many trips to the supermarket, including the much bigger Carrefour down near the city center -- kind of a Walmart-like place where you could buy groceries as well as clothes, household items, and so on. I remembered to bring my own bag and bag my items. I also remembered the intermingling smells of freshly baked bread, fish sitting out in the open, and the various cheeses of the French supermarkets.

Speaking of being possessed by memories, I’m realizing now that I’m here how Deauville (along with couple of other coastal cities, Cabourg and Trouville), provided inspiration to Marcel Proust in his seven-volume À la recherche du temps perdu, specifically as the basis for the fictional seaside town of Balbec. I only made it through Swann’s Way in college, and so now am once again having those one-day-I’ll-really-read-Proust thoughts, thinking perhaps I’ll have to return to those volumes in earnest sooner than later.

And with regard to literature of a different sort, reading online I’m seeing references to Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel Casino Royale and how the casino in that book was likely patterned after one in Deauville where the writer had played baccarat and other games. That’s another book I’ve never read and so am now intrigued to do so.

But there’ll be time for reading later as there’s a bit more writing to get done this week. And gathering of new memories, I imagine.

For reports from the floor and tourney tracking, hop over to our PokerNews live blog for continued Main Event coverage, with reports from the High Roller coming as well later in the week. Also be sure to click over to the PokerStars blog where Howard Swains, Stephen Bartley, and Rick Dacey are finding various stories to tell in feature pieces along the way. And also enjoy perusing Neil Stoddart’s photos on both blogs (a sample of which appears up above).

Finally, for those in a hurry, Kristy Arnett and the PokerNews video team put together a quick tour. There’s a très rapide Shamus cameo at 0:34. Oh, and pardon the French...

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