EPT Barcelona: Across the barricades

September 05, 2009

It sounded to me like “no molesta,” and the security man turning me away seemed in no mood to negotiate. The way in and the way out of the tournament area is restricted today by staff in waistcoats looking a lot like dealers. There are greater numbers of people in Casino Barcelona on both sides of the rail. That means less space, no sneaking between barriers, no brushing through the ornate ferns on the way back to the press room. Spectators keep your distance.

But there are reasons why the railbirds, in no mood for compromise themselves, are doing what they can to bypass official borders between themselves and a section of the tournament floor which seems to be where every single Team PokerStars Pro in Europe was unpacked this morning, glowing with brilliance.

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One such table is number 12, featuring stars shining so brightly it’s hard to look directly at them. Chief among them is PokerStars SportStar Boris Becker, and to his left Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier. While Becker glows ElkY shines, sparkling in the Ed Hardy way while Becker’s life in the sunshine makes freckles appear on anyone within fifty feet.

They’re not alone. Adding Eastern grit is Ivan Demidov wearing his default look of total exhaustion, resting his head on his hand. In contrast to the others Demidov and Henrique Pinho of Team PokerStars Portugal in seat one have a matt finish, a more natural look that diverts the attention of cameras and railbirds who scan the horizon picking out the nearby Negreanu, Eastgate, Rousso, Luske and Veldhuis.

That’s the scenery from one half of the room with the action yet to ignite. The other half is just as strong, as we’ll report once we arrange a diversion and leap the fence.

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