We’ve seen the routine time and again: it’s folded to the small blind, who has a short stack, and he or she moves all in. It’s pretty standard move, it takes a few seconds, and the big blind either folds or calls.
But not so long ago at the €50,000 Super High Roller event at EPT Barcelona, the routine didn’t quite play out like that. The dramatis personae were Scott Seiver in the small blind and Sam Trickett in the big and it made for arguably the most entertaining stealing of the antes we’ve seen this year.
When I first arrived to the table, all of the actual poker bit had already gone on. The button was to Seiver’s right, all of his chips were in the middle in front of him, and Trickett was in the tank. But it wasn’t the usual silent tanking: the table was a boisterous as an elementary school after a double serving of SunnyD.
“I need to see the stacks on that table,” Trickett said. “But I’m not allowed to leave my seat, am I?”
Seiver, who was sitting up on his seat, on his own legs, made some remark, presumably about the strength (or otherwise) of his hand, to which Trickett replied: “You’re shoving worse, I’m sure.”
It was a tough spot for Trickett, even without knowing what he had. They were down to the final 13 players and the bubble — a €92,400 bubble, to be precise — was only two eliminations away. Trickett had a super short stack when they had redrawn for the final 16, but had built it up to a decent size by the time this hand came along.
He had about 900,000 now, and Seiver’s shove was for about 300,000. Trickett could afford it, but wasn’t sure if it made sense in terms of the overall tournament. Should he risk losing a third of his chips in this spot?
“I should probably have called already,” Trickett said.
“Now it’s too late,” Seiver said.
And just as Trickett was going through another cycle of torment, word reached the table that someone had been eliminated from the television set behind them.
“Player gone?” Mustapha Kanit, also at the table, said.
“What?” an incredulous Trickett asked.
It was true: Ismail Erkenov had lost all his chips and was unhooking his microphone. That changed the dynamics once more.
Seiver continued to chatter on, and Trickett now remembered that the speech had started before he had even made his all in move. He clearly couldn’t figure out what Seiver’s conversation could mean.
“You’re working so hard for this hand, it’s making me think that you’re weaker than you might be,” Trickett said.
“He would do this anyway,” Olivier Busquet piped up. “Even if he had queens.” It was a free conversation about Trickett’s decision, featuring anybody who wanted to contribute.
“The clock is paused anyway,” Seiver said, adding fuel to the fire with more talk.
“You gave the speech and then you banged it in,” Trickett said, only partly to his adversary. “How can you ever have a hand here?”
Eventually, Trickett decided to toss it away. He flipped over J♦Q♦ and Seiver did the decent thing, turning over his A♣Q♣. He explained that by the end of it all, he wasn’t sure if he wanted a call or not, fearing that he might not be as dominant as he’d hoped.
Both of them lived to fight into the hand-for-hand period and watch the bubble approach.
“How much is 11th, in Euros?” Olivier Busquet asked of the tournament director.
“The euro is doing pretty well at the moment,” Seiver said.
“It’s over $100,000 I know that,” Busquet said.
Seiver took a quick scamper towards the feature table to check on the stacks up there, but was quickly called back by Busquet when the tournament director told the dealer to start dealing, with Seiver still out of his seat.
Morten Klein, sitting between Seiver and Busquet, shielded Seiver’s cards as they were flung in the direction of the empty seat, and no one decided to enforce the first-card-off-the-deck rule. Seiver got his hand and the action went on…
Day 2 of the €50,000 Super High Roller is under way. Head to the main Super High Roller page for full coverage from the tournament floor.