The 4th season of the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour is down to its crowning event, the EPT Grand Final, held along the banks of the Mediterranean in Monaco, the Principality that has given birth to hot royal-ers like Charlotte Casiraghi thanks to the extraordinary genes of Grace Kelly.
Action got underway yesterday at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort with 392 runners taking their seats on Day 1a of the €10,000 buy-in event. By night's end only 171 players still had chips to bag with Norway's Stephen Kjaerstad amassing the most, 111,200, followed by US American Chris "Genius28" Lee, (6,050) an uber-high-stakes online poker player who is not to be confused with this Chris Lee.
Ending up with the 3rd most was Norwegian Johnny Lodden, the Scandi poker ace who got Trojan'd out of a few hundred thousand euros, allegedly.
Some of the big names you may recognize and can pronounce making it to Day 2 include Shaun Deeb (84,375), Woody Deck (70,800), Sorel Mizzi (52,550), Mel Judah (47,450), Marcel Luske (46,375), Trond Erik Eidsvig (44,525), Luca Pagano (43,750),Nicolas Levi (43,250), Josh Arieh (38,500), Jason Mercier (35,375), Freddy Deeb (35,175), Thomas Wahlroos (34,500), Humberto Brenes (32,700), Anna Wroblewski (31,425), Thierry Van Der Berg (25,975), Peter Feldman (25,725), Bill Edler (22,250), Noah Boeken (18,250), Patrik Antonius (14,000) and Barry Greenstein (5,825).
Big name pros exiting on Day 1a include Phil Ivey, Greg Raymer, Erick Lindgren, Barny Boatman, Pascal Perrault, Jeffrey Lisandro, Ben Grundy, Tony G, David "El Blondie" Colclough, Tuan Lam, Julian Thew, Annette Obrestad, a woman, Katja Thater, also a woman, and Isabelle Mercier, also a woman.
Day 1b has been underway for several hours now with 450 runners starting today, bringing the total players in the field to a record 842, according to mathematicians. US America has the biggest contingency with 138 players looking to make it three EPT Grand Final titles in a row for the Red, White and Blue.
Like Day 1a, lots of big names are playing, are still in or have been eliminated. As the headline mentions, Boris Becker, a ginger, is done stealing souls at the EPT Grand Final, exiting early. We think Jordan Rich, also a ginger, is still in though, so watch your backs.
Get live reports of today's action in Monte Carlo from Otis and the PokerStarsBlog gang here and PokerListings 's Matthew Showell and Martin Derbyshire here.
Get yourself an escort in Monaco here.
Some senseless accolades from today and a video of Kara Scott, the Kimberly Lansing of the EPT, looking cute while doing her job after the jump: