EPT Dublin: The age gap takes its toll

Tom Bentham has gone beyond proving himself to be a capable online player. The former university student quit his studies to turn his attention full time to playing and it’s working out well, qualifying for another EPT after his appearance in London last month. Oh, and he’s also won four seats to the PCA.

PokerStars qualifier Tom Bentham

His latest attempt at an EPT cash has taken a few set-backs though and as far as his table draw goes it isn’t the easiest. Sat alongside him are the likes of Joe Grech, Roy Brindley, Tony Cascarino, Joey Lovelady, Liam Flood, Patrick Bruel and fellow PokerStars Qualifier Justin Francis.

Tony Cascarino, Joey Lovelady and Liam Flood

It can't be a bad way to spend your retirement - qualify online and travel a few thousand miles to have a crack at an EPT. That’s the position Justin Francis finds himself in. The former Engineer from South Carolina, here with his wife Jodie, is making his first trip to Dublin (“although I’m part Irish”) and only recently began playing Texas hold’em after returning to the game after raising a family.

Right now nothing seems to be slowing him down. Taking a few small pots and a sizable one in an inter-PokerStars scrap with Tom Bentham that left the veteran with the upper hand.

PokerStars qualifier Justin Francis

With the flop of 7-8-J already on the board Tom made it 350 which Justin called. Tom checked the ace on the turn leaving Justin to bet 2k. Tom called, betting 2,500 when another ace came on the river. Justin, hardly moving and with hands clasped in front of him, paused for a while before calling. Both had an ace but the accompanying eight gave Justin a full house. It edges Justin past the average chip mark.

“I had a pretty shaky start but chips wise I’m okay” he said. “But you can only win with good hands!”

For Tom though things would get a little worse before they would get better. A hand or two later he came out firing again, a bet of 500 called by Joe Grech and Patrick Bruel. Tom bet again, 1,100 on a flop of 9-3-2. Grech, whistling now, called leaving Patrick to get out of their way. A nine on the turn, a check from Tom and a 2k bet from Grech. But it was too rich for the PokerStars Qualifier who takes another knock.

What was it I said about demons? For Tom they seem to be from an older generation, and they’re playing havoc with his stack.

Tournament update:

Early fallers include two former EPT Dublin winners. Ram Vaswani was out shortly after the start and Roland de Wolfe found his top two pair shattered by a straight- flush draw which hit on the turn.

In the meantime the payouts have also been announced, with a combined prizepool of €1,701,700 divided among the top 24 finishers.

1st - €532,620
2nd - €297,800
3rd - €178,680
4th - €127,630
5th - €105,510
6th - €83,380
7th - €66,370
8th - €47,650

9th and 10th - €30,630
11th and 12th - €23,820
13th and 14th - €20,420
15th and 16th - €15,320
17th to 24th - €10,210

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in