The early levels of an EPT are, for the most part, sedate, calm and peaceful. It’s not that nothing happens, it’s just with 300 big blinds to start with and no antes in play big pots are as rare as a poker player telling the truth at the table.
The opening stanza is often about feeling your way into the tournament and getting to know the players at your table, both in terms of poker and who they are. As the first orbit played out one such conversation was taking place between Simon Deadman and Puk Nabuurs.
Nabuurs is down on the player list as being from Malta but when Deadman inquired at to where he was from he said Holland – and indeed a quick search shows this is indeed the case. Country of origin established the two began a friendly information exchange.
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“Do you play a lot of these?” asked Nabuurs to Deadman. He replied in the affirmative before adding, “I’m a tournament player” Nabuurs gave him a knowing look. “You can say it…fish” said Deadman.
“I play PLO cash,” replied Nabuurs.
“So you’re not going to fold any hands and you lover your blockers,” quipped Deadman and they both had a good chuckle at that. Deadman will need to go very deep in this event to record the best result in his house at this festival as his wife, Shola, finished runner-up in the IPT High Roller yesterday.
At least they had cards and hands to play. Plenty of players had shown up on time but fallen victim to the rule of three. That being that three players must be present at the table before any cards can be dealt. Shannon Shorr, Benjamin Lebor, Robert Obrtlik, Georges Sultanem and Alessio Casiraghi were among those patiently waiting to be dealt in.
A few minutes later Luca Pagano was probably wishing that he was too. The Team PokerStars Pro had reached the river of a 8♠6♦3♦J♣5♣ board in a hand against fellow Team Pro member Marcin Horecki. There was already a chunk of chips in the middle by this point and Horecki bet 7,500, which Pagano called. The Pole showed 8♦8♣ and Pagano mucked. He dropped to 11,500 as a result. Before the level was out Horecki, who’s already won a side event here in Malta, would finish the job and Pagano became the first exit on Day 1B. He wasn’t out of action for long though as he hopped into the €10,000 High Roller.
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