EPT Monte Carlo: Dodging bullets, baby

Update: This post, though written not too long ago is now dated. Phil Hellmuth, in fact, did not dodge the latest bullets. More to come, but suffice it to say, The Poker Brat is out.

Devilfish was stretching. Earlier, I'd heard him call for cameras to record a chopped pot, one in which he was favored to win, and one which he described using an unprintable expletive. Now, he was exercising his deltoids and exorcising the demons. He wandered to Phil Hellmuth's table and they chatted for a bit. As Devislfish walked away, he muttered dryly, "I figured it must be going okay for you. It's been quiet over here."

As if it were a cue from a TV director, Hellmuth's voice rose a few decibels as he followed the 'Fish back to his table. "It's not been that quiet he said." He went on to describe a few hands, bluffs, and laydowns. "Dodging bullets, baby," he said, reprising one of his more infamous comments from WSOP television. "That's what I..." he paused slightly, then finished, "try to do."

That's what everyone in this room is attempting. THe weather outside shifts from sun to sprinkles every few hours, and players' moods are changing with the sunshine. With approximately 206 players remaining after two levels of play today, there is some suspicion that the event is moving faster than planned. Badgirl Pham, who survived a three-way all-in with pocket queens versus AK and AK, predicts otherwise.

"Now it will slow down," she said.

If a change in inertia doesn't do the trick, player attitudes might. During a stop at Emad Tahtouh's table, I saw a bunch of limpers and the action was headed toward Emad. Gearing up to raise, he balked as the player to his right threw out a bunch of chips. "I love this guy," Emad said, throwing a thumb in his tablemate's direction. "I was going to have to raise and he saved me."

As I type, I see that John Gale is making his way toward the rail. The one-time PokerStars Caribbean Adventure champion had been nursing a short stack all day long. As we spoke earlier, he confessed, "I'm getting impatient." He knew, as I suspected, that it wouldn't be long before he either doubled up or went home.

Seconds later, we've learned that Katja Thater has also made an exit. Though tenacious with her short stack, it appears Katja could not find her double-up hand.

For the moment, here at the beginning of the 600/1200/100 level, the room has grown ever-so-slightly more quiet. The table chat is a bit quieter. The rail is not as thick. That may be because, as reports from The Outside are telling us, there is mayhem in the lobby, where the eliminated players are lining up to get into today's side event.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in