Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The French for Business--UPDATED

Insta-Photo Gallery below

The French Open begins

Anybody who has ever walked into a casino knows the sound of dozens, nay hundreds, of slot machines tinkling and cackling, mimicking the sound of coins falling into the metal bin at the bottom. It is impossible to mistake.

Although the casino down the hallway from here, I can't help but think about the sound. The poker players' noisy facsimile is the constant riffling of chips. In this giant ballroom, where nearly every seat is full and the tournament directors are scrambling to find more space, that sound is everywhere. The air is one constant riffle, like a stack of chips ten stories high is shuffling itself together.

Early this afternoon, they made the decision. Instead of playing in two smaller flights, we'll be playing in one large flight today. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 people here. Above me, a recorded symphony just exploded from the speakers, vitory music for the rifflers. In a matter of moments, the cards are going to be in the air. We'll be starting with 10,000 chips per player, playing hour levels, beginning at 25/50 blinds.

If you find yourself waiting for an update, be sure to check out this link, the home of the EPT Grand Final.

Insta-Photo Gallery

Noah "Exlcusive" Boeken, EPT Scandinavian Open Champion

Poker pro, Isabelle Mercier

Bambos Xanthos, Scandinavian Open third-place finisher

Alex Cooper, Scandinavian Open eighth-place finisher

Dan Pedersen (left), Scandinavian Open seventh-place finisher, sitting next to Marcel Luske, Scandinavian Open ninth-place finisher

Who is that with his supplies always at the ready: a pack of Reds and a mix of green and orange Tic Tacs?

It's John Gale, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure champion

Pro-gamer, Bertrand Grospellier (aka ElkY), a Frenchman who resides in Korea, recent winner of's Pro-Gamer challenge

Bill Munley (aka Bumperenos), is a well-known in poker circles in the American Northeast. He won his seat at the French Open with 15 Frequent Player Points on

Israeli Boaz Lavie has qualified online at for the Scandinavian Open, French Open, and EPT Grand Final. He's still working on the EPT event in Vienna

Winner of the best shades of the day contest, this guy is giving Greg Raymer's glasses a run for the money