EPT Monte Carlo: Pressure on Pagano. No problem

April 30, 2009

Luca Pagano finished day 1a with only his Team PokerStars Pro colleague Lee Nelson ahead of him in the counts. But after the second of the two day ones was complete, a handful of others sandwiched themselves between the two, and although Nelson still leads the charge as we enter the dinner break on day two, Pagano has been overtaken by a few more.

Nothing really to worry about: the Italian still has way north of 150,000 in chips, which, with blinds at 1,200-2,400 (200 ante) and as much experience as Pagano has, still represents plenty of play.

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Luca Pagano

He still hasn’t had it all his own way, however, and the arrival to his table of Mikke Norinder and Michael Watson, both to his left, can’t exactly have been to Pagano’s liking. Norinder rapidly accumulated more than 250,000 chips today, and Watson, despite starting with little more than a handful (and being reported out by me someone at PokerStars Blog) has also moved up to about 100,000.

Norinder, who made the final table at EPT Prague on season four, is a classically aggressive Scandinavian, and recently fired 14,400 into a pot of around 30,000 with the board showing 6♣2♠6s]A♥J♠. “Show ace-jack,” Pagano said, as he folded. Norinder politely declined.

Watson first came to our attention as the captain of the Canada team in the World Cup of Poker in 2007, but since then has gone on to even more spectacular exploits. “SirWatts” took down the $15,000 Bellagio Cup shortly after last year’s World Series, good for $1,673,770, and he was back on the EPT early this season, finishing third in the Million Pound Showdown at the London leg. Another $440,000 cashed.

As mentioned, some fool I previously reported Watson as out of this tournament, having noticed him with a short stack early in the day, and then not in that seat about an hour later. But Watson is, in fact, still alive and healthy as we enter level 13.

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Don’t forget you can keep up with the news from Monte Carlo by following PokerStars Blog on Twitter.

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