We mentioned earlier that you could cross from one side of the room to the other standing only on the heads of former champions. Well, you can still do that but you’ll need to leap the last ten feet, over the gap left by the busted Arnaud Mattern. The other three, ElkY, Vicky Coren and Joao Barbosa remain – ensconced in the same seats they started in.
Barbosa is an enigma to some, leaving some players adamant that there is no way to play against him, an unpredictable mess cracking his knuckles every few hands; whereas others see a genius of the game about to make them look foolish. Either way Barbosa got involved in a pot with PokerStars qualifier Tony Dobson and Arnaud Esquevin just before the last break.
Barbosa made it 800 pre-flop from mid position. Esquevin and the blinds, including Dobson, called for a flop of Ac-4h-8c. The four checked for a turn card Tc. More checking now, round to Esquevin who made it 1,400, forcing out all but Barbosa.
The Portuguese scratched between his eyes with his little finger, just another twitch on the face of a champion. After staring at the board, then at Esquevin’s stack, Barbosa went to his stack, the neatest in the room, and called. The river brought a 3s which Barbosa checked leaving Esquevin to make it 4,625. Eventually Barbosa called showing pocket sevens, but Esquevin had him, showing A-T. Up to 17K for the winner, down to 14,200 for Barbosa.