Thursday, April 30, 2015

Travel Report: EPT11 Grand Final, Day 1 -- Hairpin Turns

One day in and I am already fairly swamped here at the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final festival.

For my first day I was mostly occupied with the France Poker Series Monaco Main Event, which saw a modest-sized turnout of 265 players come out for the €1,100 buy-in tournament. They’re expecting a lot more on Thursday, however, for the second of two Day 1 flights, so we’ll see if they manage to challenge the total of 837 who played that event a year ago.

Have already experienced some of the exorbitant pricing of food and transportation here in Monte Carlo, having taken some pricey cab rides and enjoying a fine dinner with my PokerStars blog colleagues Stephen and Howard.

I managed to get away from the venue for a bit in order to meet them at a restaurant called Polpetta, one they’d come to know and could recommend after having been here many years in a row. Had a delicious fish soup appetizer and a flavorful dish of spaghetti scampi for the main course, which was plenty satisfying.

Gonna have to cut it short here unfortunately, as I expect I’ll be doing throughout the next week-and-a-half thanks mainly to the fact that while my accommodations are great, it’s taking extra time for me to get to the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Casino and back. Took cabs today, although I may walk it this morning if only to enjoy the nice weather and see some sites.

Got a preview of that walk last night with my dinner companions, including negotiating the famous hairpin turn pictured above -- the “Fairmont Hairpin” -- from the Circuit de Monaco where they run the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix each year. In fact that will be happening about three weeks from now, I believe.

I have walked around a lot already during my couple of days here, and the sharp “hairpin” turn is kind of a theme thanks to the way the buildings and pedestrian walkways are laid out. And also thanks to my especially poor sense of direction, which often has me turning back whether on the streets of an unfamiliar city or trying to find my way through a casino.

For more from Monaco, head over to the PokerStars blog where in addition to more FPS Monaco coverage, the big €100K Super High Roller gets going today.

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