EPT Dortmund: In the frame

March 11, 2009

Dario Minieri has taken his seat in the far reaches of the tournament room, his face partially covered by his Roma scarf with his stack in good shape going into level two.

Next to him is William Dean, a spitting image of Kevin Smith’s creation Silent Bob who cuts a distinguished jib at this table thanks mainly to a thick bushy beard, hair down to his neck and a cigarette hanging from his mouth which every now and again he sucks hard on, counting down the 45 minutes until he can smoke. It’s a table image unique to Dean.

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William Dean

The Californian usually splits his time between the press side and the business side of the rail having played several EPTs and worked for one of the many organisations covering the tour. This one though is the event he intends to change that.

That’s where that looks comes in.

“I’m trying to develop a table image” he said after spending an hour hunkered down with his hood up, eyes hardly visible.

There was something else to this image which became clear in a pot he played against Eric Kostas. Dean called from the cut off for a flop of [4H]-[4C]-[QC]. Kostas bet 375 before Dean raised it to 825. The action was folded back to the Frenchman who took a minute to go through the situation.

But as he thought things through Dean leaned back in his chair, slowly raising the camera he had on a strap around his neck, before pointing it at Kostas. Kostas thought, Dean waited, snapping a picture of Kostas as he folded, narrowly avoiding contravening the “no flash during the hand” rule. Dean flashed his eyebrows, a little surprised before lowering the camera before anyone had noticed.

“I’ve turned off the flash” Dean said later, worried about the rule book, but asking if this had been done before. I didn’t think so. “I don’t want them to create a new rule because of me.”

He did the same thing a few hands later, framing a potential caller in his view finder, but holding off when he passed. So far no one at his table knows what to say, although Minieri watches, slightly amused. Instead they stare as if members of a lost tribe getting their first glimpse of a westerner with a camera – a first look at life from the other side of the player/press divide.

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It’s working. After spending ten minutes untangling the headphone wires of his iPod he takes another pot, pushing a player off his hand with a timely re-raise, Dario Minieri grinning as he watched joking with Dean that his A-K was good.

Regardless, despite fears of a Minieri confrontation things are going well for the American. Whether he returns to the press side of the rail depends on just how well.

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