Jan Viet seemed happier on day one. Back then the German had a large cartoon Irish top hat on his head with a ginger beard attached by elastic beneath the chin. Most people come for the Guiness – Jan found a hat shop. Those were happy days. “Why not” he’d said, “it’s Halloween.”
Quite right too. Now though he looks a little different. Out go the hat and beard, in come a look much more serious than before. The chips have gone too. He’s on 50k which yesterday would have served him well. Now it’s less than half the average stack and on a table with big stack around every corner these are tense times. 32 players left. Eight more finishers will be released from these walls empty handed. It’s a position no one wants to take and it shows in the heavy eyebrows and slow movement.
With four tables left a re-draw means the big guns switch around one more time. Annette Obrestad, the Norwegian legend, even at 18 years of age, is moved to a seat directly to the left of Irishman Andy Black, who crouches behind a tall wall of chips of various denominations. Our man Phidias Georgiou, the Cypriot PokerStars qualifier is on the other side of Black. It’s 30k for Phidias though and he knows these next few hands could be his last.
Team PokerStars Pros Noah Boeken and Luca Pagano remain in the running. Noah shares a table with PokerStars qualifiers Thierry van den Berg and Casper Hansen – both with killer stacks. Another PokerStars sponsored player, Sebastian Ruthenberg is here with them also. Luca has made his way to the Johnny Lodden table where Dave Colclough also waits.
Four tables. All difficult. We’re eight away from the money.