Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden leads Day Two of the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, and a whole host of stars trail, including Calvin Andersen, Freddy Deeb, Steve O’Dwyer, Jason Mercier and Daniel Negreanu.
There are a few things that you can put your money on in Monte Carlo. You are never going to get value for your money irrespective of what you buy, and whoever wins the European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final is going to have to play the tournament of their lives.
It’s easier to tell you who isn’t punching it out at the top end of the chip counts as Day Two ends. The man with one of the coolest names in poker – Johnny Lodden – has been bestowed the honor of chip leader, but that doesn’t count for much with 110-players still left in the field. I mean…we haven’t even made the money yet.
Despite the money bubble still containing enough hot air to keep it afloat, the prize pools have been announced and it’s another beauty from the company that oozes cash from every pore. €5.31 million will be handed back to 80-lucky players and €1.224 million will end up under the mattress of the winner.
It’s going to be another season where the EPT fails to find its first two-time champion after Mohsin Charania fell on his sword in Level 14. The man who took him out is the man who always seems to get it done quietly in John Juanda. Did you know that Juanda won close to $3.2 million in live tournament earnings last year? I didn’t think so…like I said he goes about his business quietly.
So Lodden leads, but who else can honestly put their hand up and say they are a serious contender? Calvin Anderson seems to be a man on a mission to prove a point. He has earned the right to travel with the big boys after earning over $4 million playing online tournaments. He is still to pick off a big title in the live realm though, but is getting closer with a fifth place finish at the Irish Open and 10th place finish at EPT Berlin in the past two months.
Daniel Negreanu got the monkey off his back when he won the WSOP Asia Pacific Main Event for $1.087 million just a few weeks ago – his first serious title since 2008 – so he will be focused and have the finishing line already set in his sights. Jake Cody will be looking to get back into seven figure score territory after a quiet time at the tables during 2012, Steve O’Dwyer is once again in the mix as is the dangerous two-time WSOP bracelet holder Oleksii Kovalchuk. If you add the experience of Deeb, and the magical maelstrom that is Mercier into mix, you can see why the winner is going to have to work their socks off.
At the time of writing Day Three is underway and Calvin Anderson has a slight chip lead over Johnny Lodden with 72-players remaining.