The last time that the European Poker Tour smoothed its felts down in Sanremo was way back in October 2012. The event was one of the first to roll a national tour – the Italian Poker Tour in this case – into an EPT, a practice which seems like a no-brainer in hindsight. Marc-Andre Ladouceur was in the first wave of players to benefit from the crossover, picking up a win in the IPT High Roller for €132,400.
That win must have done little to hurt his chances to get signed up to Team PokerStars Online, which ended up happening towards the end of last year. Ladocueur has clocked up more than $710,000 in online tournament winnings playing under the name “FrenchDawg” and more than $1.3m in live tournaments. The French-Canadian did not arrive in time to defend his IPT High Roller title though. He’s even having trouble arriving at all.
Plane landed at wrong airport, chillin on the runway in Marseille while the wizards are figuring out what to do next #EPTSanremo
— Marc-Andre Ladouceur (@MarcAndre_FDawg) April 14, 2014
The IPT High Roller title will go to someone new this season and, at last look, is playing short-handed across its final two tables with five players on each. At one table sits the dual poker talents of sometime EPT webcast contributors Tom “Jabracada” Hall and Olivier “adonis112” Busquet. They sandwich Dutchman Olvedo Heinze.
Hall sat playing low-slung in his chair, his body close to perpendicular to the floor. Busquet, the big blind to Hall’s button, was bolt upright, looking more action hero than poker player, thanks to a tight white t-shirt and designer stubble. Hall opened from the button for 16,000 and Heinze jammed from the small blind causing no little consternation for Hall.
He stared at Heinze. He stared at his stack. He stared at his own hand a couple of times, too; they remained problematic. Hall eventually made the call with A♣8♠, which was for a large chunk of his stack, and found himself behind, but not at risk, to A♥J♥. The board ran out flat and Heinze doubled up. Hall looked a little distraught, certainly irritated as he twice had come close to mucking his hand. The IPT High Rollers will all likely play the €5,300 EPT Main Event tomorrow, all of whom will be freerolling: tenth pays €6,700, but the winner should collect €77,800 and a bucketload of confidence. A Team PokerStars Online contract is not guaranteed however.
Hall bust out in ninth for €7,900. Busquet is still going strong. Ladoceur’s whereabouts unknown.
Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.