It would be nice to think that poker players get together from time to time in a bar or restaurant, chew the fat about their previous scrapes, tease each other about bluffs gone awry or horrible suck outs, and perhaps reminisce about the time they went heads-up for a fortune. But they don’t. So forget about it.
Instead, they play more poker tournaments and sometimes bump into each other as a result. And even if they don’t, there are usually poker reporters in the same room — hello mum! — who will crowbar even the most tenuous connections into their stories and blog posts and keep the disparate forever together.
So it is today in the tournament room at Monte Carlo, where we’re reliving the final table of the World Series Main Event from last November. Or at least I am, because Peter Eastgate, Ivan Demidov and Ylon Schwartz, all of whom played both then and today, don’t seem too bothered by each other’s presence. But let’s keep them together for the sake of this post.
Schwartz, who finished fourth in Vegas, is sitting on the table immediately beside the door in Monte Carlo, but has shown no intention of scarpering any time soon. He took a decent pot of Theo Jorgensen early in proceedings, and is continuing to plug away confidently with about 35,000, just into level three.
Demidov is playing his first live event in the livery of Team PokerStars Pro, and is also being pursued energetically around the room today by a Russian film crew, keen to find out his multi-million dollar secrets. At the moment, those secrets seem to centre on getting as much rest as possible. Demidov is adopting the head-down-time-for-a-quick-snooze-between-pots position at the moment, and has something close to his starting stack.
As for Eastgate, well, the World Champion likes to get involved. Most recently, he called a standard pre-flop raise from the button, then saw a flop of 7♠Q♥2♦. The pre-flop raiser bet 1,200; Eastgate reraised 3,200 from the button, and his adversary scattered five yellow chips, worth a combined 25,000 into the pot. Eastgate’s eyes popped out of his head shortly before he folded, preserving his stack of about 20,000.
Wait for any one of these three — or Dennis Phillips, who played yesterday — to find their way to the same table, and we’ll no doubt revisit this splendidly inventive subject for part two in the series.