Baltic Festival: Welcome to Scandie-land

Baltic-blog.pngAlthough we're not actually in Scandinavia, and Finland (a short ferry ride away) isn't officially Scandinavia either, no one could be blamed for thinking that's precisely where we are. There's a lot of "fashionable" angular hair-cuts (much of it blonde), there's a lot of beautiful people dressed impeccably, and there's a lot of pre-flop shoving and re-shoving with air. Welcome to Scandi-land.

A few moments ago, there was also a distinctive bellow from a table in the middle of the tournament floor that sounded part strangled-kitten and part regular Nordic speech. "Ein uuuuute!" it said, or more probably: "Ein üüüüüüüüte!" and I've worked among the Scandies long enough to be able to translate this as "One out!"

It was too. The Norwegian Johnny Haavik got it all in pre-flop against his countryman Knut Whist and another less vocal participant. Whist had A♦A♠, Haavik had K♥K♣ and the third player A♣K♠. That was looking very good for the aces, especially as Whist had them both covered, but the board ran out 8♠4♦3♦K♦2♠. The fourth of those cards was where it all went shrill.

"Just tell them I'm a luckbox," said Haavik, although Shaun Deeb, also on the table, seemed less startled by the proceedings. "I've seen everything a lot of times," said the 23-year-old sage, and began consoling a furious Whist. "You're still in the tournament and you still have an above average stack." Nothing that a few more muttered Nordic expletives won't fix, in other words.

Deeb, incidentally, is rumoured to have some kind of side action on this tournament with JC Alvarado. Fresh from his last longer success against Dario Minieri in Warsaw, the two friends have been plotting something similar here it seems. Full details will probably leak out should any more public meetings like this one take place:


JC Alvarado and Shaun Deeb talk business

Tournament housekeeping: We have entered the final level of the day, with 65 of the original 130 remaining. That's a pretty swift day one scything by any tournament standard.

At this point it would be difficult to look further than Ermo K as our chip leader, as he has been all day. He still has by far the most yellow chips (5,000 apiece) in the room - something like 80,000 worth.

We'll be conducting a full sweep of the room in the coming hour, then the full counts will also appear on the chip count page when they're done.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in Baltic Poker Festival