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Joe Hachem - Articles - EPT exploits a forerunner to US adventure


01 October 2006

EPT exploits a forerunner to US adventure

 After a couple of months in US for the 2006 World Series of Poker, my focus turned to Europe in September and October for the first two stops on the PokerStars European Poker Tour.

As you’ll read in his column, my good friend Emad Tatouh joined for the trip to Spain and England. I won’t spoil his story, but let me say that it was great to see him do so well in the EPT London event – it was certainly pretty exciting to watch from the sidelines, especially fighting back after he’d bluffed off 80 per cent of his stack.

Barcelona was our first stop. I’m noticing a pattern in the EPT events that I’ve played in – in the five EPT tournaments I’ve played, I’ve started well only to be eliminated late on the first day. Let’s hope I can break this duck when I return to Monte Carlo for the EPT season final early next year.

The tournament was massive in Barcelona, with more than 100 players actually missing out on a start. But the casino struggled with the demand for cash games, and I must admit to feeling a bit homesick going away so soon after the WSOP.

Barcelona is a beautiful city, and one day Emad and I decided to go for a walk along the beach. Suddenly we found ourselves on a part of the beach where no-one was wearing bathers. And just as quickly, Emad and I discovered that there were no females on this part of the beach, with all the blokes happily sunning ‘themselves’. Needless to say, we picked up the pace!

Another night, Emad and I found a Lebanese restaurant and thought we’d pop in for a bite to eat. I’m not sure if the name of the restaurant lost something in the translation, but there wasn’t the slightest thing Lebanese about this restaurant. For a start, the cook was a Pakistani – as they say in Spain, hasta manana!

No such problems in London, where we found some great Lebanese restaurants just a short walk from the Vic where the EPT event was being held. Emad and I did manage to get hopelessly lost in London, but it’s been great to visit such different cities and meet people from all over the world over the past 12 months.

I’m kicking back in Melbourne, playing a few VIP events on PokerStars and in a few sessions at Crown. But in early December, I’m heading back to the US for a few weeks. We’ve managed to sort through most of the issues with the WPT so I’ll be playing in the Five-Diamond Classic at the Bellagio. Then after Christmas, I’ll be off to the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure then back to Melbourne for the Aussie Millions main event.

With the numbers swelling to about 600 for the main event, it promises to be another fantastic event. I’ve had a bit of a curse at Crown in recent times, but I’d love nothing more to make a run in my home event and get deep into the tournament.

After the Aussie Millions, I head back to the USA to appear in two TV events – Poker Superstars III and the NBC National Heads-up Championship, then back to Europe for the PokerStars EPT final. I might play in one more WPT event then, unbelievably, it will be almost time for the 2007 World Series of Poker, which looks set to kick-off in early June.

The appearance of the WSOP on TV has come around so much quicker this year, so event though another player took out the main event, the past world champions are always in the spotlight. As the last surviving world champion in the main event, I was a focus for the cameras, but I suppose this is the age of TV poker and will be the case each year that I return to Vegas.

With Christmas coming up, keep an eye out for the new Activision WSOP video game – you can actually add your own character to the game and compete along side me at a WSOP final table. As this is the final issue of Bluff Australasia for 2006, I’d like to wish all readers the very best for the holiday season – I look forward to seeing everyone at Crown for the 2007 Aussie Millions. Talk to you again in the next issue.

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