EPT Budapest: On court action

The multiple-flight format of the modern major poker tournament presents a handful of unique problems that the average poker player is only sometimes able to solve. If you're playing day 1b, what do you do on day 1a? And if you're playing day 1a how do you fill day 1b? (Bear in mind that sightseeing is usually out of the question. These are poker players we're talking about.)

The second of those quandries was facing the PokerStars qualifier Danny "THE_D_RY" Ryan and Annette Obrestad, both comfortably into day two, but at a loose end today. That's how come they were kicking around in the PokerStars players' lounge here in Budapest, and also how come they ended up in a tennis tournament on the Wii games consoles provided for players to use while they relax.

A bit of context here: Obrestad is something of fiend when it comes to Wii, having honed her talents in Joe Hachem's Champions Lounge in Las Vegas during the recent World Series. Not old enough to play in the States, Obrestad instead whiled away her time in Nevada perfecting her video sports. Bowling was a particular favourite, as was tennis.

Ryan, on the other hand, insists that he never plays video games and has had no previous experience on the Wii courts. Still, he was a real-life tennis master in his (even) younger days, and represented North Dakota in the sport, winning numerous tournaments in the region and ended up ranked in the top five in ninth grade. He's also about 6ft 4in, to Obrestad's 5ft plus very little.

_MG_6278Neil Stoddart.jpg
Winner and not the winner, from left to right

However - and we might really have expected this - it was Obrestad flexing her muscles and Ryan left licking his wounds. The Norwegian won 3-0 and take bragging rights into day two tomorrow, where she also has the tournament chip lead.

Tournament update: The Team PokerStars Pro Vicky Coren is out, beaten in two key hands. She was forced to fold on an all-spade flop when she had already bet about 5,000 of her 10,000 stack. She was shown aces. Moments later, she lost a coin flip with pocket threes against A-K. A king flopped and Coren was out. Better news for William Thorson, who is now up to 27,000, forcing his opponent to fold A-K face up on an ace-high flop. Only Thorson knows what he had.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour