No matter how many poker tournaments you cover, in no matter how many casinos around the world,
the fact that this place has a self-cleaning toilet is amazing bubble time is always kind of tense.
It might be counter-intuitive to most casual observers, however, to learn that the higher the buy in in an event, the less on edge the players tend to be as these notoriously fraught period arrives. If you can spare $25,000 for a high-variance poker tournament, you're not going to be new to this whole thing, and neither are you going to be ruined if you don't make that min-cash.
So it was just now in Monaco, where the High Roller has just played into the money. It was Andrey Pateychuk who did the decent thing and was knocked out, finding out the hard way that aces don't always win the day.
Pateychuk was one of a handful of short stacks when we reached our final 15, but he opted only to make a standard opening raise after looking down at A♥A♣, allowing Justin Bonomo to call from the small blind. (Many lesser players would have just shoved with those aces to be on the safe side.)
The flop came 6♠J♠T♥ and Bonomo check-raised Pateychuk all in. Pateychuk called and saw that Bonomo was holding A♠2♠ for the flush draw. The 3♠ came on the turn and that was the end of that for Pateychuk.
He's had an amazing season, winning EPT San Remo for €680,000 and adding a WPT title in Prague. But Pateychuk is our bubble boy here. We're now pushing on to the final table.