I can’t be certain but I thought I noticed a bounce in the step of Arnaud Mattern, the newest member of Team PokerStars Pro – French wing. When I passed him going down the stairs he was galloping up them and talking to three people at the same time. Is this the effect of a red spade on his sleeve?
The others at his table might not appear quite so fresh. The spikes of Johnny Lodden’s hair look like they’ve lost some of their earlier precision and Marc Goodwin is already into a massage. Luca Falaschi (name on his shirt: bravo sir!) still looks fresh, although I couldn’t see his face. The others all seem to be resting their heads on their hands and even Mattern looks to have done an extra button of his shirt.
Mattern with Johnny Lodden (left)
He interrupts a conversation he’s having with Lodden, “450 change,” he says to the dealer, flicking his finger in the direction that it’s owed, before returning to Lodden. Mattern seems to miss nothing and behind the aviation glasses with thick black lenses is a sharp poker mind that mesmerized the EPT two seasons ago when he won plaudits and a million dollars in Prague. He liked winning both and nearly did the same a year later in Warsaw.
Here he’s getting busy. From under-the-gun-plus-one he made it 550, still talking to Lodden who leans in to listen and then leans back giggling. Where others need a routine when they play a hand, something to at least help them remember the suits of their cards, Mattern takes the merest of glances at his hand so as not to disrupt conversation. You’d forget he was in the hand. On a flop of K♦4♥Q♥, Mattern made it 750 and that was that.
This was good I thought, no need to big up the new guy, he was doing fine, winning pots and looking good doing it. Then he played the next two hands and lost chips in both of them, and I noticed he was having trouble attaching his Team PokerStars Pro shoulder flashes. Still, it’s early days.