They formed an interesting contrast, Eduard Bhaggoe and his wife, Siema.
Not knowing the context, an observer might have thought the woman leaning against the rail, holding her hands clasped and her gaze worriedly directed above was the one in some sort of peril. The man, meanwhile, with an air of ease, gulped the last from his water bottle while standing nearby.
The scene was the consequence of a long week’s worth of poker for the Netherlander, his best tourney run in seven years’ worth of playing the game. Not a full-timer or “pro,” he’s played only a few EPTs before, with his final table here by far a new career highlight.
Perhaps it was that experience — and that knowledge of the place in the larger context of Bhaggoe’s life — that added to his calm. He’d entered the day as the short stack among the final eight, and had already survived one come-from-behind all-in to extend his tourney further, after which he immediately turned to Siema to exchange happy reactions.
All of that likely contributed further to the freerolling feeling, lessening the stress of another all-in.
Siema has experienced the ups and downs of tournament poker as well, having made Day 3 at EPT9 Barcelona before busting shy of the cash. She’d be affected regardless, but having gone through something similar no doubt made watching her husband’s continued battle that much more acute.
An opening raise from under the gun by one of the hat-wearing Finns, Kimmo Kirko, had signaled strength. But when the action reached Bhaggoe he appeared unfazed, pointing a finger in the direction of the red triangle on which was printed “ALL IN” then nodding as the dealer confirmed his intention. He was raising, committing the whole of his 2,310,000.
The others quickly folded, Kurko quickly called, and the pair set aside further ceremony by immediately tabling their hands — A♥K♦ for Kurko, 10♥10♠ for Bhaggoe. The latter continued to appear stoic, saying “good luck” as they awaited the arrival of the fate-determining community cards over which neither had control.
A 7♦10♦8♥ flop encouraged Bhaggoe to clap his hands just once and stand from his seat, then retrieving that water bottle as he continued to eye the board.
The 2♦ turn was worrisome, giving a flush draw to Kurko, though it didn’t stop Bhaggoe from finishing his water. We say worrisome, but as mentioned, Siema was the one appearing more bothered.
And indeed, when the 4♦ fell on fifth, Bhaggoe literally took the tourney-ending card in stride, smiling as he walked first to Kurko for a handshake, then over to Siema and other flanking family for hugs of comfort, freely given even if their man was doing just fine.
Out of water and out of chips, Bhaggoe banks €143,000. He smilingly leaves six to fight on.