"ElkY!" said APPT President Danny McDonagh as he walked the floor with the microphone during the opening moments of Day 1b of the ACOP Warm-Up Event.
Around him players were continuing to take their seats as the first hands of the day were being dealt, and Danny was handling the business of delivering greetings and other announcements of interest, including ensuring all had their invitations to the welcome party next week.
"It's good to see some of the Team Pros," continued Danny after acknowledging Team Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier's arrival. Soon he was busy saying hello to others who have arrived thus far -- including Eugene Katchalov, Celina Lin, and APPT Macau Season 5 champ Randy Lew -- when he was interrupted.
"Danny... ElkY's all in!"
Indeed, within minutes of Grospellier's arrival, the Frenchman found himself pushing all of his chips in the middle in a hand versus the Russian player Artem Lobus. All of us similarly wandering the tables swiftly joined the President to assess the situation.
When we got there we saw the flop had come single-suited, showing 3♦5♦J♦. Lobus had the button while ElkY was playing from the big blind. Lobus also had the Team Pro slightly outchipped to begin the hand, and following that flop Grospellier had shoved and now Lobus was contemplating what to do.
Other details would be gathered following the hand's completion, including the fact that ElkY had six-bet preflop -- committing nearly half of his almost-starting stack of 20,000 -- and Lobus had called.
Also capturing our attention were the words printed in large yellow type across the front of Lobus's gray hoodie:
Not too long after our arrival, Lobus made the call and the players tabled their hole cards. ElkY held K♦K♠ for an overpair and diamond flush draw, while Lobus had but J♠9♠ for top pair of jacks.
The dealer burned a card and flipped over the turn card -- the 9♣! -- its appearance accompanied by audible exhalations from all observers. A troubling turn for Elky, who now needed a friendly river card to help him beat Lobus's two pair.
But the river brought the 8♣, and with echoes of the President's welcome having only just faded, we were telling ElkY goodbye.
"Sorry," said Lobus with a grim smile. Grospellier shrugged and returned the grin. "Good luck, guys," he said as he left. Lobus stacked the chips, good-naturedly acknowledging others' referencing the message conveyed on his sweatshirt as a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.
We're just getting started here on Day 1b. Indeed, the greetings are continuing as late arrivals take their seats during the first level.
We'll see ElkY again soon for the Main Event starting Wednesday. And at the Welcome Party, too, we imagine. But as far as today is considered, Elky's wasn't here long enough for his seat to get warm in the Warm-Up.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.