Ninety players have the money in sight, cheques written and waiting just thirty places away. Naturally the initial all-in flurry has become a slow trawl through these middle levels, with the relief of doubling up even more powerful than before. Just ask any French or Italian player.
There’s still the odd hand to be played in the traditional way though. Dave Ulliott called a pre-flop raise by Jerome Orain who then promptly checked his way to the river, Ulliott following, until showing the pocket seven to take the modest pot.
Pawel Chmiel is also got involved with Orain raising 5,600 from the cut off before the Frenchman called. Chmiel, still in his PCA tan, bet again on the Ks-4s-Ad flop and was called, before both checked the ace turn and eight river. Orain sheepishly showed his 5s-9s but Chmiel’s Jd-7c was good.
PokerStars qualifier Alessandro Cavalieri found it time to double up, pushing in with Ac-3h against a caller’s Kc-9c. He tried again a few hands later but, as if wising up, his tablemates declined the option to call.
Excitement at the far end of the ballroom though!
The trouble started when Moritz Kranich re-raised to 13,600 behind Guillame De La Gorse’s initial bet. Simone Coppari over in the two seat was ready to call and flung his chips into the middle half a second before he heard the dreaded words “re-raise”.
He immediately tried to grab them back with a “it was just an accident” face. But the players knew it, the dealer knew it and Coppari knew it – he’d have to leave them there or try to defend them by calling or raising. But sometimes attack can be the worst kind of defence and the Italian let his mistake go. The hand went on with Gorse and Kranich involved, but after a flop of 5h-9h-9d Kranich made it 22,200 to go ending the hand right there.