EPT8 Copenhagen: The best bubble in the world?
If Carlsberg did bubbles the bubble boy would be whisked from his seat by winged angels, taken to a fluffy room far away from the cheers of those left in the money, stroked and fed cocktails until the bad memories went away. Maybe they'd score him a few tranquilizers as well just to take the edge off.
Sadly Carlsberg don't do bubbles (although they may inadvertently do the EPT party tonight), and Mikita Badziakouski's experience was anything but fluffy and tranquilized. Instead it had sharp edges and hurt like hell.
Mikita Badziakouski shakes hands before leaving the tournament
The run up had been typically tense, with player after player coming to terms with the fact that they were no longer entitled to play, a chip and a chair becoming "no chips, and please stand being the rope line, sir."
The flow of people heading for the door was strong.
Johan Roosen was coming to terms with the reality that his big stack was only big geographically, made up almost entirely of black chips. He shoved, showed king-seven (against Alejandro Sanchez's ace-queen) and asked for a king. He got one on the turn but only after an ace on the flop. "Running kings," he added as an afterthought. Nothing...
Within ten places from the money Igor Pihela was next to go.
Pihela is a striking figure. Bald, and wearing a bright red leather jacket, he is easy to spot and has a playing style that suggests he's at ease with winning and losing. He was eliminated by William Paschall who in contrast is dressed like a man who has an appointment in court, hair neatly arranged and a clean shirt.
The board made Paschall a straight to the nine while Pihela, who took his time turning over his cards, made a straight to the six. Pihela didn't move immediately, he just stared at the board. Finally it sunk in. He tapped the table, stopped chewing his reading glasses and put them back in their box. Then he wished everyone good luck. Defeat with honour seemed his chief concern. He'd got it.
Konstantinos Christou followed soon after, moving in with pocket tens. Three players opposite tanked about calling. Eventually Helge Stjernvang called with pocket jacks to send him out. Christou managed a smile but it was a clenched smile.
A table along Albert Iversen, who still looks like Robbie Robertson from The Band, dodged ace-king with his own ace-queen when the board brought two pairs. His smiled was less clenched but just as traumatised. He played on although his new life was short lived.
Jan Molby was joking with Johnny Lodden last night about his predicament this morning. While Lodden is out, Molby inched towards the money, securing a vital double up against Aage Ravn.
Molby re-raised all-in with king-jack of diamonds which Ravn called with ace-queen. The board brought kings on the flop and river to keep Molby, who said something to the player next to him that made him laugh, alive.
With play going hand for hand it would be Badziakouski's turn soon enough. He got his lot in with ace-seven of diamonds. Anthony Hnatow had woken up with kings and dodged aces on the board. The bubble burst with a deflated Badziakouski standing alone on the rail waiting for those angels.