There are many more players left at the start of Day 5 than many of us were expecting. It’s not uncommon during EPT Main Events for there to be 16 or fewer in the field at this point, yet today there are 23 remaining. The spectre of a long, long day looms over the tournament room.
“The original plan is to play to six,” Kate Badurek, the tournament supervisor, said over the microphone as she instructed dealers to get things started. “However, we will keep you updated on the schedule of the day.”
The “however” hung heavily over weary players and staff.
Of course, there is alway the possibility that it would go a bit nuts early on; players can sometimes arrive to the table with a game-plan to get playing. However (and there’s that “however” again), I watched the opening orbit on Table 2 very closely as it got under way, and there was not a great deal of action.
Here’s how they lined up when they returned to start the day:
Benjamin Lamprecht, Austria, 3,190,000
Olivier Ferrero, France, 589,000
Ivan Deyra, France, 1,164,000
Dominik Paus, Germany, 395,000
Ilkin Amirov, Azerbaijan, 1,932,000
Gleb Tremzin, Russia, 3,535,000
Javier Gomez Zapatero, Spain, 2,282,000
Blinds are 15,000-30,000 (4,000 ante).
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Tremzin was the last player to take his seat, if only because he was fidgeting around in his bag for a water bottle and then opted to take off his sweater before he sat down. As the dealer placed the button in front of Javier Gomez, suddenly there was a newcomer wandering a little lost around the table.
“Sorry, I’m late for the main,” the newcomer said. It was Chris Walker, who said he thought he was due on to the feature table, but was quickly shepherded to Table 3 where he managed not to miss a hand.
That allowed players at Table 2 to see their first hand.
Hand 1: Button with Javier Gomez
Ivan Deyra, the first player to act of the day, immediately took the chance to get his chips in and opened to 65,000 from under the gun. Deyra is a 21-year-old from Bordeaux, playing his first EPT Main Event having qualified online. But he’s clearly been playing this game quite some time and is very happy to get heavily involved. On this occasion, nothing came of it. Everyone else folded and he picked up blinds and antes.
Hand 2: Button with Benjamin Lamprecht
Deyra, perhaps belying inexperience at the live tables, is instructed by the dealer to put his green chips to the front of his stack. They were concealed at the back but, as the most valuable, need to be clearly visible to all the others, and not only when he bets with them.
This hand was again a cagey affair. It folded to Benjamin Lamprecht’s button and he said, “Sixty”, putting two greens and two blues over the line.
The two blinds both folded.
“Are you both from France?” Lamprecht asked those players, Olivier Ferrero and the aforementioned Deyra. Their nods told him all he needed.
“What city?” he said to Deyra.
“Will they play the football there next year?” Lamprecht asked, in a bid to get further conversation going. He was greeted by a blank face.
“The European Championships are in France next year,” he said. “Will they play football in Bordeaux?”
Blank face. Then Deyra said: “Me?”
“No, not you,” Lamprecht said. The European Championships. He then tailed off, clearly thinking whatever the Austrian phrase is for “Forget it.” He did try.
Hand 3: Button with Olivier Ferrero
Action folded to Deyra in the small blind and he completed. Dominik Paus, in the big blind, checked his option. This was the first flop of the day. It came 2♦J♥6♠ and Deyra bet 30,000. Paus wasn’t having it. He raised to 90,000 and Deyra quickly mucked.
Hand 4: Button with Ivan Deyra
Gleb Tremzin, who was second in chips at the start of the day, got things started with a raise to 64,000 from under the gun. Ilkin Amirov was checking out a few things on the EPT App when it was folded round to him in the big blind, at which point he opted to turn over his phone and call.
It must have been a fascinating update on the app, however, because he checked the flop of 4♦K♣3♣ and then folded when Tremzin bet 58,000.
Hand 5: Button with Dominik Paus
Such is the size and dominance of Gleb Tremzin’s stack that he gets a walk.
Hand 6: Button with Ilkin Amirov
Ivan Deyra, at this point the most active player at the table, opened to 65,000. Amirov, on the button now, had three checks of his cards before counting out a raise to 148,000.
Deyra didn’t need to look back at his cards before he bumped it up even more, making it 323,000 to play. Amirov folded.
Hand 7: Button with Gleb Tremzin
This one folded around to Javier Gomes in the small blind, who had not yet volunteered a single chip to any pot. He wasn’t amazingly keen to do so now, either, but he did at least make up Lamprecht’s big blind.
Lamprecht wasn’t going to allow anybody to a cheap flop, however, and he raised to 90,000. Gomez called.
The flop came 9♠5♦5♥ and Gomez check-called Lamprecht’s bet of 85,000. Neither player was interested in either the 3♠ turn or the K♣ river however, eventually showing their hands–the first showdown of the day–at which point Lamprecht’s A♥10♣ beat Gomez’s A♣6♠.
That was the end of the first level of play, which didn’t exactly make anybody think we’re going to tear through this field. Action is slow; conversation is slower. It may be down to the blinds, or a couple of coolers, to really put a rocket beneath this tournament.
There’s also the High Roller. That’s on the High Roller page.