EPT London: Boom or bust on the bubble
Bubble time is the cruellest time in a poker tournament. It's also the most anxious, often the busiest at the rail and among the media but, when all's said and done, usually the slowest too.
For the uninitiated, "the bubble" bursts when the last remaining player goes out of the tournament without earning any money. In this event, the top 32 players are assured at least £8,153, but the person finishing 33rd gets nothing, nada, zilch, zero, nowt and/or nought.
To ensure the playing field is as level as possible, and to stop short-stacks delaying the action unnecessarily, the tournament director instigates "hand-for-hand" play. That means that the dealers on each table can only start shuffling and dealing the next hand when all the other tables have finished the preceding one.
It's often a tortuous process as a player might be faced for a decision for his tournament life, something he or she doesn't want to rush into. This means that the players from the other tables, all of whom have finished their hand, have to sit patiently around their tables, or sometimes crowd around the decision-maker, ramping up the pressure.
Today was no different. And it lasted for about half-an-hour.
The hand that accounted for Carlo Citrone - and burst the bubble
Eventually the bubble burst when Carlo Citrone, the British pro and poker commentator, and Vijayan Nagarawan, the PokerStars qualifier from Malaysia, got it all in pre-flop. Vijay had Carlo covered, in both chips and cards. The Malaysian tabled A-K, Carlo had A-Q. There were no miracles on the flop and Citrone was sent packing after a lot of work for nothing.
That means everyone still remaining is in the money. Unfortunately, Joris Jaspers, a PokerStars W$ buy-in, was among those to beat Citrone out the door. But there are still plenty of big names, more than a handful of qualifiers, and some fitting both categories still in with a shout.
Stay tuned. It's getting towards the business end.