Into the last level and Joe Hachem is taking it easy. The Team PokerStars Pro isn’t letting up card wise, but there’s a drink with lots of ice and he’s laughing and joking. This is civilised poker. Humberto Brenes walks by. He and Hachem conduct a conversation without say in a word, using just facial expressions to relay that Brenes was out.
While Hachem has the highest success at World Series and WPT level the EPT has always proven an enigma for the Aussie, with just one cash. But that cash came here, 12 months ago, during some thrilling closing stages. In a packed room, Hachem battled to an 11th place finish worth €101,000, agonisingly close to the final table. His stack of 200,000 plus right now might just be the start of a re-run.
On the next table Annette Obrestad is still romping towards the lead. With four players paying 10,500 to see the flop Obrestad re-raised Johannes Strassmann’s bet of 22,500 on a flop of J♦9♠3♣, 58,000 enough to put off
STOP PRESS: Things have changed in the time it took to type that. Joe Hachem just lost a post that has dampened his fortunes a little, now down to 110,000. On the flip side of that Johannes Strassmann has just one a huge pot that could put him close to the lead.