At the furthest table from the entrance to the Salle des Etolies sit three women; Team PokerStars Pros Sandra Naujoks and Liv Boeree, and Gaelle Baumann. All
are were in relatively good shape with Boeree on 75,000, Baumann on 120,000 and Naujoks on 125,000. It's not unusual for a number of women to make a run at the money in these big buy-in events but to have three at the same table at this stage certainly is.
We've had a number of female champions on the EPT circuit - Naujoks and Boeree among them - but none have yet cracked the Grand Final, the final table is yet to be breached by womankind. Annette Obrestad came close in Season 5 with a 13th place finish and Victoria Coren also had a good crack the following season bowing out in 26th, but it was Isabelle Mercier that just missed out way back in Season 1 all but bubbling in tenth place.
When you're covering a table you look at the action, the stacks, the cards (community only, never ever the hole cards) and the players. This can occasionally mean that you catch the eye of a player. My policy is that if I know the player I pull a quick, pained smile and look back towards the action, we don't want any accusations of unfair treatment, and if it's a player I don't know I'll just look away, you don't want to freak someone out by blankly gazing into their eyes.
I know it shouldn't matter, but when this happens with a female player it can make one feel like a bit of stalker, a poker blogger lech of the second degree. This is what happened with Naujoks so I quickly threw my glance a few seats round to the right, past the dealer only to this time catch Baumann's eye. In a mild fit of panic my eyeline reversed back round the table settling back on Naujoks, who just so happened to look up again, for all I know wondering if that blogger chap was still looking at her. I obviously was. These are the (usually) unspoken quandaries of the reporting world.
In the meantime Jason Wheeler had swapped 2% of his action with Christopher Hunichen (assuming his card number is correct) before punting a small chunk of his stack off to Hamad Almannai with top pair against a rivered top two. Wheeler shook his head but the min-raise on the river into his 10,000 lead was too small for him not to call. Boeree has since busted and with the clock stopped the final hands of the hand are now playing out. Team PokerStars Pro Max Martinez appears to have made a late break for the chip lead, impressive from a day start of 63,400.
Level 14: blinds 1,200-2,400, ante 300
Players: 130 of 665
Average stack: 153,500
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