EPT12 Malta: Staying level headed during a long poker festival

If you visited an EPT 'back in the day' (technical term for Seasons 1-5) there was the option of playing the Main Event and a handful of side events. We'd be in and out of a city within a week, including travel days. The EPT is a very different tour these days. Stops are now festivals and a handful of side events have grown to 75 here in Malta.

A lot of players get upset at busting poker tournaments and that's a completely understandable reaction. One invests finances and emotions when entering and those feelings have to be processed. Some players like Mickey Petersen and Rupert Elder find the nearest ice cream bar to use up half a day's recommended calorie allowance in one sitting; others (who will remain nameless) go out to other kinds of bars and leave their frustrations to melt along with the ice at the bottom of a tumbler. Side events weren't really of big importance to the players in times gone by so, if you busted a Main Event, why not go out on the town knowing the only thing to worry about in the near future was making the flight home?


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Bust a Main Event, or any event, nowadays and there are a ton of other options on the schedule, so going out on the town isn't always a wise option especially as it's probably +EV for a grinding pro to make the most of the tournaments on offer, something David Lappin alluded to when he spoke to the blog the other day.

So, how does one get over a cruel defeat in a tournament so their head is right for the rest of the festival? What about if the exit was particularly cruel, like a horrific beat or bubbling the money?

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Matas Cimbolas - zen

Matas Cimbolas, who's been one of the players tearing up the European Poker scene for the past couple of years, suffered a blow at the beginning of this festival when he was the bubble boy of the IPT Main Event. That bubble lasted around 90 minutes before the Lithuanian, one of three players all in on Hand 13 of bubble play, became the sole player to leave with nothing after the other two players doubled.

There were still more than 65 events on offer for him to play so he had to put it behind him and get back to work. So far, so good on that front for Cimbolas. He's playing the EPT Main Event here on Day 1B - going steadily on 37,000 on second break - after winning a satellite last night in the €500 One Rebuy/One add-on tourney. A min cash in the IPT Main Event was worth €1,810 and, because he was down to fumes when he bubbled, his expected outcome was probably a min cash at best. Winning €5,300 seat was a great way to put the disappointment behind him.

During the break, Cimbolas was kind enough to talk to the blog about how he stays level headed during these long festivals:

"Every professional handles the up and downs differently. Personally, I do meditation and make sure I sleep a lot and eat a good breakfast before play starts. All that helps to not go down on tilt. You also have to realise the ups and owns are part of poker, it's just variance, and you have to try and always do your best.

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Cimbolas (seat one) bubbling the IPT Main Event

"I was okay about bubbling the IPT Main Event. It wasn't the first time I've direct bubbled (a poker tournament) and it certainly won't be the last. It would've taken one hand to get in the money and then it goes bad and you bubble it. I don't know, it was ok.

"It was a great feeling to rebound in the Main Event satellite. I already won a seat in a qualifier so was just playing for the money but they are such great value. "

How different is poker to ten years ago?

2005: Get drunk the night before a tournament; make it back for the start of a hotel breakfast; get four hours sleep; win or bust out of said tournament; go and get drunk before catching a flight home.

2015: Ignore invitations to go out and get a good night's sleep; mentally prepare for any eventuality by meditating; eat a good, healthy breakfast; rinse and repeat whatever the outcome of the day's poker tournament.

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Everything about EPT Malta is on the main EPT Malta page. More specifically, all the side event coverage can be found here.

Begin plotting your own bid for EPT glory by downloading the PokerStars client and having a crack. Follow this EPT event via the EPT app. There you will get all the latest news, chip counts and payouts. You can download it on Android or IOS


Marc Convey
@The_Conv in