No one has a short stack by choice, but Nicolas Levi is among those players who cope well when handcuffed by its limitations. The Frenchman, reaching his second final table of the season, knows that his survival today will depend on getting his chips in. But even on this tightrope Levi seems unmoved.
“It was a studious day,” said Levi, recounting his day last night. “I started with 600,000 and finished with 709,000. A slow grind.”
Levi’s day had been one spent carefully navigating a tricky table, one featuring most of the talent and short stacks. Levi took his share of Joao Simao’s ailing stack, but was forced to look for scraps from then on, peaking at a million.
“Most of the time I was just trying to steal the blinds one time each round. I think I’ve been really good at that. If you look at how many times I’ve been in the money in a big tournament and how many final tables I have, I think I must be in the top ten in the world, in terms of that ratio. I convert very often. I don’t arrive very short but this is 20 big blinds tomorrow, so it’s enough to give them troubles.”
Levi literally stealing the blinds…
Levi has yet to find an opening at the final, and a pot against Fraser Macintyre cost him a valuable slice of his stack, making the task at hand even harder. Levi’s task now is to come good on his own plan to manage that handicap, something you feel he’ll happily do in exchange for a first EPT title, even more so than the money, the “1st” on his Palmares outweighing the money in his pocket.
“Well, in a year or two’s time the money will probably mean more, but right now I’m stupid enough to look for number one,” joked Levi. “It’s my eighth or ninth final of a big tournament, and there’s eight players or nine players per final table. So surely I should win one in nine, right?
Levi all smiles this morning
“But I want this so much and I’ll do everything I can tomorrow. There’s only one thing I’m certain about – I’m going to play really good and be a tough guy to beat and well see how it goes.”
Levi is doing enough so far but time is not with him. That said, if he can somehow convert desire into chips, the title is still within reach.