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EPT: Before and after the break

The first sign that PokerStars qualifier Marcus Lind was all-in was his head appearing from the crowd peering across the cardroom. The first sign that this hand would be an inter-PokerStars qualifier clash was Phidias Georgiou doing the same. What’s more there was a third unknown player involved.

Close up it became clear what the fuss was about. Marcus Lind of Denmark was all-in, so too the unknown player. The crowds that had forced their way past the remaining tournament tables for a glimpse were waiting to see what Phidias would do. It would take some time. He was out of his chair. As Marcus stared serenely away, relieved that whatever was going to happen was now beyond his control, Phidias surveyed the seriousness of the situation, looking at the table then sending a hard stare towards Marcus.

There was a lot in the pot. “I’m sorry man” said Phidias. He was talking to the unknown player about the time he was taking.

“It’s okay. I’m all in. You take your time.”

It would be Marcus who called the clock. But maybe it gave Phidias the nudge he needed. He called for a three way showdown. 6-6 for Marcus, 9-9 for Phidias, T-T for the unknown player.

The board missed everyone leaving hand values at the end the same as they’d been at the start. Marcus was out but Phidias had taken a sizable pot. One PokerStars qualifier would advance at the expense of another. The unknown player was sitting down feeling less of the strain too. After good natured handshakes that only those who have experienced the same hardships can proffer, Marcus was gone.

Another PokerStars qualifier rumble occurred after the break, this time with Norwegian (via Copenhagen) Katja Svendsen and Dane Marcel Baran. Katja has claimed a number of scalps this week, including the mighty one of Ram Vaswani on day 1 and now she seemed equally menacing, leaning forward in her seat as Marcel ran through his options on a board showing 7-J-9. Katja had bet. Marcel opted to call. The turn brought a 3 but both players applied the brakes, checking it before the river card K was dealt.

Katja was still leaning forward - like she couldn’t wait to win the hand. A pensive Marcel, his head titled slightly either to talk himself into checking, or talk himself into raising, bet 15k.

“15k?” asked Katja for confirmation. She counted out the three brown chips from her own stack to call but showing less of a smile now. “Call.”

Marcel tabled Ks Ts. Katja inhaled deeply - the king on the river had saved Marcel’s hand from oblivion. Katja could only muck, cursing the same king.

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