Last night’s leisurely reading in PokerStars Blog Towers included a collection of travel journalism from the Australian writer Clive James. In a piece about the cut-throat nature of life in New York City, James wrote: “The bigger the heap, the more people there must be who are not at the top of it.”
Although James is not among the field at EPT San Remo, nor is there much evidence that the noted poet and critic has ever played much poker, his words struck a very particular chord. This week the European Poker Tour assembled its biggest ever heap of players, meaning that we have also now have the biggest heap of players who are not at the top. That’s partly to do with the nature of tournament poker, but it’s got even more to do with a man named Dragan Galic, who won a decent-sized pot at the end of level eight on day 1a and has never, not even for one minute, been anywhere other than at the top of the pile since then.
Galic has bossed this tournament, and then some, with most seasoned reporters remembering Jamie Gold’s utterly dominant display during the 2007 World Series as the most obvious peer. This, however, is the day when it will matter the most. We begin with 124 players remaining, and the cash bubble bursts at 112, meaning there are 12 very unlucky souls filtering into the tournament room at the moment.
Once that unfortunate-for-one, exhillerating-for-all-others moment is passed, everyone will be eager to move as high up the payout ladder as possible, and to build a stack capable of making a charge to the final table.
The order for today’s play is not yet decided 100 percent, with the tournament director Thomas Kremser intending to make a call in a couple of hours as to whether we will play to 32 players or 24. We’ll report his decision when it’s made.
Either way, it is time to watch the likes of Marcin Horecki, Alex Kravchenko, Bill Chen, Tom McEvoy, all kitted out in the PokerStars livery. Then there’s the PokerStars qualifiers Fitzgerald Urquhart, Malte Strothmann, Alberto Font, Josh Prager and Dave Hardy, all of whom we will be introducing to you as the day progresses.
Then there’s Steven Silverman, Alex Fitzgerald, Lex Veldhuis, Juan Maceiras, Ben Kang, Joao Barbosa and Arnaud Mattern. It’s quite a field and is going to be quite a day.
Here’s how the video blog team prepared for day three: