In truth, the two days weren’t all that different from one another, as both once again saw me spending most of my waking hours over at the Sporting Club at the EPT Grand Final helping cover the France Poker Series Monaco Main Event.
On Thursday the tournament played out Day 1b, which was énorme with 912 players coming out for that flight alone. The 1,261-player total for the event well exceeds the 993 who played it last year, and marks the second-biggest field in the six-year history of the FPS.
They ended up seating folks all over the place in a few different locations, which meant a lot of steps for your humble scribbler (and scrambler). We added still more to our total when going for a jaunt over the border to Nice for dinner at the same Vietnamese restaurant we enjoyed going to a year ago.
I wrote a post here then titled “Monaco is a Maze” describing the walk to the restaurant and featuring a picture of the steep stairwell going up about five flights to get to that eating establishment. Well, this year that stairwell was blocked, which meant a long, winding trek and a lot of uphill to get there this time, then we found a slightly shorter path involving a couple of mysterious elevators that helped get us back. (Over 16,000 steps that day, if we’re counting)
That night ended with one of those silly moments only those who do a lot of this tournament reporting thing find fun. Having literally eyeballed a player’s stack for no more than one-third of a second before the chips got dumped into a bag, I ventured a guess to my blogging partner-in-crime Nick they totaled 263,000 and turned out to have guessed the amount exactly. This story I then repeated at least a half-dozen times before leaving as joking self-promotion of extraordinary powers of perception.
Friday saw the bubble burst, as pictured above -- can you spot me in the crowd? (click to embiggen) -- after which the big field got carved all of the way down to 60 players. Again, it was mostly business as usual, reporting-wise, with Nick and I surviving the day in good shape and enjoying a surprisingly early finish as staff decided to cut things short by a level.
Poker-wise, it was interesting to see the Brazilian Leonardo Pires enter the day as the chip leader, more than double his stack during the first two hours to sit with over 700,000 when no one else had half that, then in a little over two hours more get knocked out with a min-cash. Pires was the same fella who led several days in a row at the PCA this year before going out in 13th.
I’ve actually already slept a couple of hours tonight (and yes, I’m counting), and so am gonna try not to distract myself looking at score updates from Game 6 of Hornets-Heat and go back to sleep right now. I mean all these mouton aren’t going to count themselves.
Photo: courtesy Neil Stoddart/PokerStars blog.