I'm currently sitting in media row at the Bay Casino in Monte Carlo. The media room is where the actual tournament was held last year. Now it's set up to house over 200 international media reps. The EPT has come a long way since September of 2006 when I was one of a dozen media people (with the Antes Up and Gutshot guys) huddled around one table underneath the staircase at the Casino Barcelona.
This year's prize pool is close to 6 million Euros. The TD's had to set up an extra day to accomodate the record number of players. The defending champion is Jeff Williams, a 19 year old kid from Atlanta, GA. He won 900K Euros last year. This years winner might take home close to 2M Euros.
Last night there was a cocktail party sponsored by PokerStars at Jimmy'Z, the hottest night club in Monte Carlo. I was invited and took advantage of the open bar. I bumped into PokerStars staff like Otis, Mad, Ali, Conrad, and Tamar. I also saw players such as Isabelle Mercier, Chad Brown, Katja Thater, Joe Hachem, Humberto Brenes, Vanessa Rousso, Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, Barry Greenstein, Shaniac, Luca Pagano, Bill Chen, Carl Olson, Gobboboy, Brandon Schaefer, Noah Boeken, and Lee "Final Table" Nelson.
There are rumors that both Phil Hellmuth and Phil Ivey will be playing today.
I will be heading up the live blogging team over at PokerNews. Stop by and check out our live coverage starting up at 2pm local time or less than an hour away.
Otis will be blogging over at the PokerStars Blog, so take a peek. And Jan from 50 Outs is blogging over at PokerStars German blog.
Take a peek at our first video of the day featuring the lovely Tiffany Michelle:
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