Carter Philips faces a row of heads, just heads mind, the eyes in them look straight at him waiting for him to do something with his 55,000 chips. The heads are all he can see above the barrier running along the dealer’s side of his table. Except for Boris Becker further along. You can see nearly half of him, the former tennis champ and PokerStars sports star leans over a shorter barrier further along, craning to see Katja Thater play a hand. He settles for watching her order a drink instead. That last one was stolen, she said.
Thater shows no signs of pressure right now, sat with one leg tucked up onto the chair, a straw cowboy hat on her head and bare feet. Her plan B could well be to get out of here and head for the beach, and it wouldn’t be a bad one, except that it looks like rain outside and she has chips, just taken from Ivan Freitas on her immediate right.
It came on a flurry of action as more than one player at another table was seen getting up from his seat and leaving the tournament area wearing his sad face. Thater made it 2,500 from the button, a little more than 16,000 behind. Freitas called for a flop of 2♥7♣4♥ and then bet 5,000. Using both hands, Thater pincer moved her chips into the pot, all-in. Freitas called showing Q♥J♥ to Thater’s A♣A♦. A K♦ on the turn, A♠ on the river and no sign of a heart.
Thater stacked her new chips, more than 40,000. A lone figure clapped enthusiastically from the rail, then stopped when no one else joined in. Boris Becker had seen enough too, happy to see his fellow German move up. Time for dinner.