EPT Barcelona: Gobboboy goes up. Then down.
EPT players are given 10,000 in chips for their eight grand, with the dealers demanding just 25 and 50 for the blinds in the first one-hour level. But while many players decide to take it easy during the opening exchanges, deciding that survival is the name of the game, others go straight for the jugular -- and sometimes straight for the exit door.
Ram Vaswani, the leading player in the EPT rankings, is one such casualty. He was seen disappearing into the Barcelona sunset barely an hour after this whole thing started.
Jimmy "Gobboboy" Fricke, the well-known internet player, who burst onto the live scene with second place in this year's Aussie Millions, is playing a similarly dangerous game.
Fricke, who has found himself on the same table as Rob Hollink and Jani Sointula on his EPT debut, was the only player for the first couple of levels who seemed to want to mix it up. He stole a lot of blinds, and increased his stack accordingly, but then got involved in one of those crazy pots where no one is really sure what's going on or why, but about 5,000 gets shipped in an opponents' direction.
When I got to the table, the flop was already down after what seemed to be some moderate pre-flop action. Fricke was against one other player, who check raised the flop of 10s 4c 2h. Fricke re-raised, opponent called.
The turn was the Js, which didn't seem to be the kind of card that could help much. Fricke's opponent bet 2,000 - an early outing for two blue 1,000 chips - and Gobboboy thought a while before calling. The river was even more innocuous seeming - the 3c.
Fricke's opponent bet out again, this time 3,000. Once more, Fricke dwelled then called and was shown an unsuited 10-4 for two pair on the flop. Fricke sighed, squeezed his cards once more to himself, then mucked.
At that point, he was down to about 7,000, grateful that his early action had given him the extra breathing space.