Star Studded 34 Remain In Monte Carlo EPT Grand FinalMay 10, 2013 12:03 pm
Last year, the €10,600 Monte Carlo EPT Grand Final attracted a healthy field of 665 players, but this year EPT officials could be forgiven for feeling a little apprehensive after just 108 players showed up on Day 1a of the event.
Fortunately, Day 1b saw a further 423 players join the fray to create a combined field of 531 competitors. In any case, the field was still 20% down on its 2012 tally, and around 45% down on 2009, when the event peaked with 935 entries.
As usual, the tournament was heavily promoted by PokerStars, but this time around the event had the extra challenge of overcoming a drop off in numbers caused by a post Black Friday slump, as well as the European debt crisis.
Nevertheless, while the numbers were down the quality of the players it attracted remained as high as ever, and included such pros as Phil Ivey, Phil Helmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Gus Hansen, Marvin Rettenmaier, Randy Lew, Sorel Mizzi, Bertrand Grosspellier to name but a few.
The event is now entering Day 4 and just 34 players still remain in contention, all of which are hoping to walk away with the title, and the €1,224,000 first place prize. Amongst those top pros eliminated in a cash position was David Vamplew in 80th (€8k), Alex Kravchenko in 79th (€8k), Christophe De Meulder in 66th (€16k), Toni Judet in 52nd (€18.5k), Alec Torelli in 48th (€21.5k) and Marcin Horecki in 41st (€21.5k).
Of the players remaining, PokerStars Team Pro Johnny Lodden (photo) is currently leading the pack, followed close behind by Steve O’Dwyer and John Juanda. A whole slew of top talent also remains, including Noah Schwartz, Jason Mercier, Daniel Negreanu, Freddy Deeb, Jake Cody, Andrew Lichtenberger and Mickey Petersen.
Day 4 is due to get underway at 3pm CET, and needless to say the poker celebrity stacked final four tables is sure to produce some fireworks as the day plays down to 16 players.