We’ve been doing this “A Round With…” format for a while now. It’s brought us up close with some pretty amazing tables out in the fields at the EPT and beyond, and it’s also got us out of a few holes when there’s not been much else to write about.
Here in Barcelona, it was due to be all about Jan Heitmann. As the last remaining Team PokerStars Pro, enjoying his best EPT run outside of his native Germany for quite some time, Heitmann was owed some PokerStars Blog love. He was on neither of the two EPT Live feature tables, so we thought we’d unwrap our special text-based version of the popular webcast: a hand-by-hand examination of an orbit at Heitmann’s table.
In truth, this did not initially seem like a particularly promising prospect. When the players returned from the break at the end of Level 22, they filed back to Heitmann’s table in silence. They sat down in silence. They counted their chips in silence. And the dealer began dealing in silence. It was, in a word, silent.
At this point, I actually decided it might be funny to count the words exchanged during the entire “A Round With…” orbit, figuring we would be very lucky to get into double figures. I figured I might have to tart this one up a bit, fearful that otherwise we’d be looking at some kind of bleak, Cormac-McCarthy-does-poker episode, ending for all the debate as to whether poker is fun.
As it turned out, it did actually turn into some apocalyptic wasteland over on table six, and very few words were exchanged. But the truth is, I’ve never seen such an action-packed orbit of poker in my life. We lost one of the tournament’s most feared players, and another poor sucker was knocked out by seven-deuce. Three other hands ended in someone all in.
It’s worth sticking with this one, even if I do say so myself.
We present: A Round With Jan Heitmann…A Silent Tragedy.
Seat 1 – Hossein Ensan, Germany, 1.4m
Seat 2 – Maximilian Senft, Austria, 1.4m
Seat 3 – Mark Wagstaff, UK, 880,000
Seat 4 – Markus Garberg, Norway, 480,000
Seat 5 – Jan Heitmann, Germany, 910,000
Seat 6 – empty
Seat 7 – Philippe D’Auteuil, Canda, 310,000
Seat 8 – Sakis Nicolau, Cyprus, 179,000
The scene is EPT Barcelona, start of Level 23. Blinds are 10,000-20,000 3,000 ante. There are about 48 players left. A country road. A tree. Evening.
Hand 1 – Button with Jan Heitmann
Silence. A pause. Silence.
Silently, the inaction is folded to Mark Wagstaff in late position, who opens to 55,000. Silently, it is folded round to Sakis Nicolau in the big blind who effortlessly slides into silent contemplation. He takes a while before flicking out a call, representing a fair chunk of his short stack.
The dealer says nothing before fanning out the 7♦2♣2♦ flop. Nicolau almost instantly moves all in, placing his very existence on the line. We are all mortal. We are all going to die.
Hand 2 – Button with Philippe D’Auteuil
Jan Heitmann’s furious fingers hammer out a text message on his smartphone. Markus Garberg’s lightening digits blur across a similar screen. Words exchanged in the oral medium since the break equals: 0.
It is folded to Philippe D’Auteuil on the button, who slides out a small stump of chips. Eventually, after a quizzical glance from both blinds (but no words) it is determined to be a call — a limp in other words.
Sakis Nicolau, still with a pretty short stack, opts to call and Hossein Ensan, who has the chips to do whatever he likes, opts to check. That must be a really bad hand.
Three players therefore go to the flop, which comes 10♣8♥6♥. Nicolau, in silence, pushes his stack over the betting line. And then all of a sudden Ensan breaks the silence by popping out a headphone bud and saying, “All in.” By current standards, it is practically Hamlet.
D’Auteuil folds and we see our first showdown of the orbit. Nicolau has 10♠3♦, and Ensan has 2♥7♥. The 4♣ on the turn doesn’t change very much, but the 9♦ on the river hits a gunshot.
Nicolau sits silently. Stunned. Slaughtered. Ensan gets up and shakes his hand as the Cypriot player wanders away.
Words uttered: 2
Hand 3 – Button in empty seat
It’s a dead button and Markus Garberg opens from early position, making it 42,000. It’s folded to Philippe D’Auteuil and he mouths enough to the dealer to prompt her to put a red triangle in front of his stack. D’Auteuil is all in.
The action is quickly folded back to Garberg, who calls pretty quickly too, and both players flip over their cards. The dealer flips them back again, though, allowing the television cameras time to arrive. After the TV crew shows widespread uninterested in coming to the table, the cards are duly exposed:
The dealer tears through a board of 4♠3♠9♠8♣3♦ and D’Auteuil doubles.
Hand 4 – Button with Hossein Ensan
It is folded to Hossein Ensan on the button. He raises. He takes it.
Hand 5 – Button with Maximilian Senft
On a neighbouring battle field, eight players are told that it’s time for them to move on, and Vojtech Ruzicka arrives to take the empty seat to Jan Heitmann’s left. Ruzicka has had an enormous stack for almost all of this tournament, with the exception of right now.
Heitmann notices who is coming, then looks at his stack, and seems relieved. Ruzicka has only 210,000.
“What table is this,” another player, wandering past carrying a tray, asks.
“Six,” the dealer replies.
He quickly shimmies away, presumably scared by the silence.
It turns out to be a good decision. The action is folded to Ruzicka, the newcomer, and instantly moves all in. It’s folded back to Ensan and he calls.
Ruzicka seems to know this is trouble, turning over A♠9♦. Ensan has J♥J♠. The board runs K♣5♥4♣8♠J♣ and the Day 2 end chip leader is sent packing, having lasted only one hand on this new table.
Hand 6 – Button with Mark Wagstaff
The action is folded all the way round to Markus Garberg, who open shoves his short stack and gets Jan Heitmann to fold. Garberg flips up 10♠J♠ and nobody seems bothered.
Hand 7 – Button with Markus Garberg
Hossein Ensan opens to 43,000 from early position and, for the second consecutive hand, Garberg moves all in for 143,000. Jan Heitmann this time looks serious about joining him in the pot and sure enough flicks in the calling chips.
Ensan, who is in danger of getting himself labelled a gossip, says — actually says — “I fold” and taps his cards on the table and throws them away.
Heitmann tables his K♣Q♠ and is behind Garberg’s A♠10♣. The board runs out 5♥7♥A♦8♠9♦ and Garberg lives to fight another day. He heads straight to his smartphone to let somebody know.
There we have it. It was an action packed seven hands — a dark drama. There were two empty chairs at the start and two empty chairs at the end, even if they had once been filled.
Follow all the action from the tournament floor on the main EPT Barcelona page. There’s hand-by-hand coverage in the panel at the top, including chip counts, and feature pieces below. Follow the action from the High Roller on the High Roller page. There’s also EPT Live, which is streaming action from Day 4 of the Main Event.