PokerNews Jet Set: Monte Carlo
The PokerStars.net European Poker Tour’s eighth season is coming to a close, and it’s going to close in style. The Grand Final is returning to the world’s most glamorous country, Monaco.
Running from April 23 through May 1, the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo Casino EPT Grand Final draws one of the most elite fields in the world to one of the world’s most exclusive destinations. If you have a chance to satellite your way to the EPT Grand Final, you’ll literally find yourself rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous.
- Official language: French
- Weather: April has an average high of 17°C (62°F)
- Currency: Euro. 1 EUR = 1.3 USD (please check XE.com for accurate exchange rates)
- Banks: Most banks are open until 7 p.m., Monday to Saturday.
- Visas: Europeans do not need a visa to visit Monaco. North Americans and Australians can stay for 90 days. Other citizens should consult a travel agent.
- Time: Monaco is on Central European Time.
- Tourist information: Visit Monaco
Getting There from Berlin
Most poker players traveling to Europe this month will be taking part in the EPT back-to-back double of Berlin and Monte Carlo, with just a few days off to travel between events.
The easy and fast way to travel from Berlin to Monte Carlo would be to fly into Nice Côte d'Azur International Airport in Nice, France, which is 15 miles from Monaco. You can pick up a cheap one-way flight on airlines like Air Berlin.
From Nice, you then have many options to get to Monaco. Whether you want to arrive like a rich local in a helicopter, which will take just 20 minutes, or keep the budget down with a bus direct from Terminals 1 and 2 every hour between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. which will take 45 minutes. Otherwise, a taxi will set you back 35 minutes and €90.
Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort
40 Avenue Princess Grace
Monte Carlo 98000
Tél.: +377 98 06 25 25
Fax: +377 98 06 26 26
The last time the poker world descended on Monaco with the EPT was in 2010, and Gloria Balding gave a guided tour around the quaint sights. If you’ve never been fortunate enough to walk the winding streets of the second-smallest country in the world, covering only two square miles, then here’s a small sample of what you’re missing.
Usually in these PokerNews Jet Set’s I will go through some of the views and attractions of the city, however, here’s a more poker-specific “View from the Rail” from EPT Season Six with Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis, Shaun Deeb and Melanie Weisner discussing their action from the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort.
Of course, no EPT is just about the Main Event, as there is always a full schedule of side events. In Monte Carlo, however, those side events are certainly turned up a notch. The traditional EPT High Roller will play out once the Main Event nears a close, and to enter, it will run you €25,000. If you thought that was expensive, well, this year an event has been introduced that makes the €10,600 Main Event and €25,000 High Roller look like budget tournaments. For the first time, a €100,000 buy-in Super High Roller will be held on the European Poker Tour, commencing April 23, and is due to attract a hugely impressive field of pros. Here’s a look at the confirmed list so far:
|Daniel Negreanu||Eugene Katchalov|
|Jason Mercier||Scott Seiver|
|David Sands||Dan Shak|
|Tony G||Artem Evgenievich Litvinov|
|Leon Tsoukernik||Tobias Reinkemeier|
|Viktor “Isildur1” Blom||Masa Kagawa|
|Patrik Antonius||Jason Somerville|
|Sorel Mizzi||Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier|
|Jonathan Duhamel||Dan Smith|
Lastly, on May 1, PokerStars will hold a player party to round out the Grand Final. It won’t just be any normal party, however, because the dance floor will be put on hold for a short period, and the night will turn quite significant for many, because the EPT Awards will be announced. Here’s a look at the Season Six party in Monte Carlo, along with some words from Kevin McPhee and Pierre Neauville after receiving their awards.