There were still a few minutes on the board when Moreira de Melo paused to think over a shove from Danyl Amri, one worth 15,300, or about half of her remaining stack. She’d already been thinking for a while. Turned out she was nowhere near finished.
The thing is she had plenty of things to size up. For Amri was no ordinary opponent. One minute he was taking a picture of his chips, the next laughing uncontrollably, the next pretending to light a cigarette to startle the floor staff. He looked confident. Surely he had it? But as Moreira de Melo would say later, confirmed by another player at the table, “He does that sh** because he enjoys it.”
So yeah, this was a complicated decision.
The clues were on Moreira de Melo’s face. She stared at the board: 3♦5♣A♠ 8♣7♥, and then stared at Amri. He’d check-called her bet of 1,100 on the flop, and again when she bet 2,200 on the turn. Then he shoved on the river. Moreira de Melo was a little pissed off.
“What do you have?” she asked, not exactly expecting an answer. By now things had moved into the break.
She wanted to see if she could pick up anything from his behaviour, but she couldn’t be certain. Had he not carefully worked up a reputation as being a bit unpredictable, all these signs she was seeing would be, well, predictable.
Ten minutes into the break they were still at loggerheads. Amri said he would not call time, a gracious act, but then he started laughing again. He was enjoying this.
“You’re really not going to show me? After all this time?” she asked.
“Nope,” he replied.
And so with 8 minutes 48 seconds left on the clock, she folded.
“So random,” she said, admitting she’d folded ace-king. “He’s a very nice guy, but he’s really random,” she said during what was left of her break.
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Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.