EPT Prague: What Leo wants Margets

December 03, 2009

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There are various ways to get yourself noticed as a new player on the poker circuit. Putting on a big hat and wearing a dressing gown at the table will get your picture taken. Mouthing off about the opposition in public also sometimes works. Or you can try the old-fashioned way, with a notable performance or two to get people interested.

Leo Margets used that path to her personal glory this summer in the World Series Main Event. She was the last woman standing finishing in 27th place, a result worth $352,832 to the 25-year-old Spaniard who now gets a good share of column inches. It’s purely coincidental that she also features on the sunshine end of the good looks measuring stick – good for a few photos as well.

Here are a few other things you might not know about Margets:

  • She was the focus of a feature length article in the mainstream Spanish newspaper El Pais in September, which followed her efforts at the World Series.

  • She just signed a clothing deal with a premium clothing company.

  • A former marketing manager, she once asked a guy to go for a drink with her but he turned her down to play poker – it became the first poker game she played.

  • She has run three marathons.

  • In return for sponsorship to the main event she promised backers she would “crush it.”

    But despite World Series success Margets is still trying to leave her first mark on a major European event. Today she started the day on the same table as Pieter de Korver and Ciprian Cirstea. The pair pranged once or twice when seated together on day 1a, trying to out-smug each other. Their good-natured rivalry continues today. But Margets is the type of player to let the egos get on with it while she eats grapes from a plastic shopping bag, and waits for spots to open up. But while things are brighter today – her stack now up to 120,000 – it wasn’t as straightforward as it sounds.

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    Leo Margets

    “I had a mixed beginning,” Margets said. “I started well, I don’t like to take many risks at the beginning of a tournament.”

    But then things turned sour.

    “I had 30k, but before my table broke I lost half of my stack. I just wasn’t aggressive enough with pocket jacks and the other guy conned me with some drama.”

    The wretched amateur dramatics paid off for the other guy who hit his card on the river. For Margets it was time to regroup.

    “I decided to really focus on the game at my new table and I found some good spots.” Then a hand came along to add some much needed power to her stack. “Basically, I flopped the nuts,” she said. “The small blind min raised, I pushed and he called with a nice Christmas present.”

    The hand took her up to 50,000 and today she unbagged 72,000 from those efforts, a figure she’s currently on the way to doubling. She’d settle for that having been frustrated by the EPT before. She nearly cancelled Prague to head to Madrid instead to play a premier Spanish event. Instead she travelled east with some friends and into the cold of the Czech Republic where the lure of EPT success was waiting.

    “The last three months I haven’t made day two of a big tournament. I’m enjoying it,” she said.

    That could be the twist of fate she needs. Only three women remain – Catherine Ram Hong on 60,000 and the Team PokerStars Pro Sandra Naujoks on 75,000. Margets may well be the last women standing again, and that’s proved a good spot before.

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