EPT11 Barcelona: Where do you stand on the “all-in position”?

August 25, 2014

It’s the defining moment of any player’s tournament, whether it’s a €20 re-buy or a €50,000 Super High Roller. How to you face up to your elimination? What type of player are you in this moment of crisis?

The need to stand is twofold when a player moves in. For one thing there’s basic strategy. By that I mean basic “fate”. If you remain seated you increase your chances of looking cocky. The Gods don’t like cocky. Instead, demonstrate your humility by standing up and gathering your things. This is almost guaranteed to extend your tournament life.

But what does the way you stand say about you? Well, after some extensive research we’ve put together the definitive guide to the various poses, and positions adopted at this crucial time.

The Paratrooper


Ready to jump

Often adopted by the player of minimal experience, the all-in player resembles a man standing in the doorway of a plane thinking twice about whether he actually wants to jump. Like the paratrooper, he knows he is facing overwhelming odds, and is on guard for anything, fists clenched, ready to react to this this fight of flight situation.

The Packer

Unlike the others this player knows he’s doomed from the start. Slightly different to the tactic of putting on your jacket ahead of time, this player knows it’s all a foregone conclusion. There’s no coming back, because he had no right to go all in with this hand in the first place. Usually, the last item they pick up, which is often an expensive man-bag, coincides with the dealing of the river card.

The Teenager


Note the hands in the pockets

Here the all-in player shows a complete lack of interest in what is taking place. He’s been caught red handed but frankly, he couldn’t care less about consequences, which are for squares. Typically they stand with hands in their pockets, they may even yawn. Win or lose, it’s all the same. They don’t even like poker anyway.

The Oblivious

Actually this player doesn’t stand, and remains seated, typing into a mobile phone with two thumbs, possible a message of farewell to his chips. He never looks up, and instead concentrates on the miniature screen. His salvation depends on it.

The Fighter


I dare you

Not entirely convinced his hand is strong enough, he instead relies on the fact that he is strong enough, and is ready to fight any man who calls his bet. These players sometimes shout things to encourage their hand, which in turn is supposed to terrorise the other hand into submission. These players are often battle hardened, having survived several similar situations all ready.

The Field Marshall

Named for the resemblance to a Field Marshall staring hopefully at a map, this player first stands and then rests their hands on the edge of the table, leaning forward as if examining troop movements. His stack is his army, and he’s hopelessly deluded as to its actual strength.

The Director


Scott Seiver in classic Director mode

A look perfected here by Scott Seiver. The player in question tries to direct the hand the way they wish it to progress, gesticulating wildly while calling for cards–usually a deuce–insisting that the game complies. By sheer willpower they believe they can affect the hand’s progression, and when it works it’s worthy of an Academy Award.

The Flamenco


Martin Finger performs a textbook Flamenco

We have no idea what this means.

(The players appearing in these photos are adopting these positions purely by coincidence)

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. There’s also EPTLive, which is streaming action from Day 4 of the Main Event.

Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.


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