The day is drawing inexorably to its close and with only 102 players remaining at the mid-point of level eight, it seems certain that around 90 of the 225 starters today will be heading into day two.
Conducting a quick sweep of the room, there are some predicable patterns. The big stacks are look to consolidate and the smaller endowed seek to double up or perish in the trying. The Finnish player Jani Sointula recently got his short stack in the middle pre-flop, and doubled up with aces against queens.
He is on a table of some of the biggest stacks. The Frenchman Remy Biechel has about 40,000, the Danish PokerStars qualifier Allan Bække has about 45,000 and William Reynolds, from Sioux City, Iowa, has 53,000 and the table captaincy.
“He’s a very good player,” said Biechel, nodding and smiling long enough in the direction of Reynolds for the American to know who was the subject of the observation. “A very good bluffer,” Biechel added. Then said it again: “A very good bluffer.”
“Hey, you’re getting a compliment from a Frenchman,” a railbird pointed out to Reynolds. “That’s pretty impressive.”
“That is pretty impressive,” Reynolds acknowledged, joining Biechel in cutting through the simmering international feud.
Other players with big stacks as we enter the final few moments include Thor Hansen, with 42,000, Laurence Houghton, with 48,000, Albert Iversen, with 64,000 and Trond Eidsvig, with 30,000. Peter Hedlund is also still in the hunt. Still boozing, incidentally, and still chatting incessantly. But he’s also got more than 20,000 in chips.
They’re getting close to the klaxon. And our full day’s report will be with you shortly.