EPT Warsaw: The celebrity table
It’s been a game of contrasts since the dinner break. First, the music in the lobby consists of soppy greats played by the meandering piano player, whilst downstairs Gloria Gaynor belts out that she will survive. Then there’s the contrast in play. Before the break the cry of “all-in” and after the break it carried on with several players busting in the first minutes back but now has relaxed again.
That’s the case at the far table, tucked in at the back for the tournament area featuring EPT London finalist Alan Smurfit, EPT Prague finalist Juha Lauttmaas and Portuguese player Joao Barbosa.
It’s also the celebrity table, featuring as it does polish musician Michel Wijniewski and Polish TV presenter Maciej Dowbor, who have been stuck in the same conversation for ten minutes now. The players let them carry on but every now and then the dealer giggles.
Whilst they chat the action on their table has been based on respect for the raiser. For at least an orbit and a half the pot has gone to he who dares first - Barbosa, then Smurfit, then Barbosa again before a few others took a turn.
But Barbosa is in charge. With a track record of regular cashes in EPTs this season, having cashed in Barcelona and London, he’s showing why he has a knack for going deep, raising at every opportunity. He’s now up to more than 15,000.