A lot of people watching will consider the departure of Jeffrey Hakim from the final table a big loss to the quality of the field.
Hakim was out of the main event within the first few minutes of play today, shoving when he looked down at ace-king, but running into the pocket aces of Enrico Rudelitz. Scenarios like that play themselves, as Hakim admitted shortly after busting.
"I could have had double that and it's' still getting in," he said. "If I'd come in with up to two million I would have had no option. Thirty blinds plus, then I would usually re-raise of course, and get re-raised and be able to probably get away, because it's the first three seats and he's repping such a huge hand and he's never going to be out of line there, so what am I hoping to see? I could let it go. But with 900k chips, seeing ace-king is just a dream there."
The result was doubly frustration to the Lebanese pro who came the final with the most experience of any player.
"That's the thing," admitted Hakim. "I was really hoping I could get a double up early on. Everyone knows it's a relatively soft final table, not many big names or anything. Rami had all the chips but if I was able to get a double, being two seats to his left, I could definitely do some damage. That's what I was hoping - a similar start to yesterday so I could play some poker again, but it just didn't happen."
With seven players now left Hakim was among those predicting a quick final.
"I think it'll get four handed fast," said Hakim. "Remi is going to be there for sure. Hopefully Walid (Bou-Habib) can pick off a couple of the short stacks. And now the Enrico guy, with my stack, is up to three million. So I think the three of them are gonna get there. The other players, to be honest, are on the tighter side. I want to say they're gonna play ABC-ish poker and, you know, maybe just blind down too much."
For now Hakim, who seemed frustrated but in good spirits on the rail, can look back on a positive week in Deauville, despite his premature departure.
"When you go back home you just got to be happy with how you played," he said, permitting himself a slight sigh. "I know that when I left at the end of every day [I asked myself]; am I satisfied with the hands I played? What can I improve on? What could I change over? What about the chips I could have saved?
"In the end it takes a little bit of luck to win of course, but if you're playing your best and you're getting there more and more often, it's like creating your own luck, giving yourself the opportunity for things to go well when you need it. That's what I try and do. When you're playing you're A-game, and coming to these things just a few times a year, it's so important to give it your all and play the best you can."
Hakim did so but fell just a few places short of a first EPT title. Follow the rest of play on our live coverage page, with commentary on EPT Live.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter