EPT Prague: Britt looking for birthday cheer

85 players are left, 29 away from the money, with blinds at 800/1600 with a 200 ante.

Britt Petersen arrives at her new table with 30,600. “Hello” she says, showing a smile. She’s been drinking bottles of beer since this morning but it seems like a genuine ‘hello’ and that she’s normally friendly. Either way she gets no reply. These guys haven’t been drinking so maybe they were grumpy before the day started anyway.

PokerStars qualifier Britt Petersen

Regardless Britt, a PokerStars qualifier from Hoorn in Holland is no stranger to the poker table, as we’d soon find out. But right now; in a top patterned with spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds, designer sunglasses, a watch which is a little less gaudy than most poker players are used to, and a few friends close by, she is the last woman player left in the EPT Prague, and a money finish is closing in.

She sits between recent GUKPT grand final winner Michael Ellis and the last remaining Czech player in the tournament Frantisek Striz. Coincidentally the table also features the last Slovakian in the tournament, Dag Palovic.

Britt is accidentally unconventional at the table and it confuses the others who aren’t quite sure how to react. For instance after she peek at her cards, she quietly announces her intentions. “Raise 7,000” or “Fold”. Things like that.

At least she did so following a raise from the Czech Striz. He’d made it 3,200 and Britt doubled it from the button using a short pile of red chips.

The attention is back on the Czech player Striz. He counts out the call as Britt watches. He takes a moment, looking at her. She looks back. Both wear shades so what they can actually see is unclear. But theatre plays a big part in this game and after Frantisek rubs his beard a few more times he folds. The big blind lets out a whoosh as Britt stacks her chips.

Now sipping water, I spoke to Britt at the break.

“It’s my first EPT, I mostly play online with my best result being in the Sunday million where I finished 29th once. But I’m also the Dutch women’s champion.”

So yes, not that much of a stranger to the poker table...

Still a student in Amsterdam Britt turned 23 last Sunday, the day before her EPT hopes began. We’ll have to wait until the end of the week to determine what kind of birthday she’s had.

“It’s all very exciting. On the first day I had my share of bad beats and started today on less than average. But the beer is to intimidate people a little. I’ve found that men will lay down their hands a bit more – like that last guy. But I’m so excited I don’t know how to look when I play a hand!”

That’s true. It seems her only problem so far is that she’s lost her player number, which later turns up in her back pocket.

All photos (c) Neil Stoddart

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in