EPT8 Deauville: Falling by the wayside
After the breathing in on the bubble there's always the exhalation post-pop as the players trying the hardest to hold their gut decide enough is enough, I don't care who sees my flab. Today of course was no different as the usual flurry of short stacked players jammed in their anaemic chip stacks happy to take the chance for a double up and reignite their tournament challenge.
Those that double or get their shove through are still seated, that's how these poker tournament things work, you know, but those that fall are quickly noted by the tournament staff, handed a numbered piece of paper and then led by a nominated dealer to the cash desk, which in this case is a small wooden lectern next to the main operations centre. The queue to get signed off is growing, someone seems to be holding things up.
We've come to know Ilan Boujenah this season not through his play, which seems to be good enough to have bagged him $865,714 over the last year and a half, but through his frequent clashes with tournament staff. We won't go through all the details here but suffice to say Boujenah loves a bit of a
whinge debate, so I can't say that I was surprised to see that cash desk queue was backing up behind him.
Arms crossed and resting on the podium, chin nestled into the platform provided by his arms, Boujenah looked fed up and grumpy. The €3,500 that he'd received for chopping the first money/bubble spot with Eric Nhouyvanisvong, seeming to do little to placate him having grumbled in French to a couple of members of the tournament staff. Not speaking the local lingo I couldn't say what was said but Boujenah remained disgruntled. Perhaps it was about sharing the money despite the stacks being different sizes, maybe not. Either way it appeared to be holding up the first swathe of knockouts, among them Andreas Larsson, a large Swede who bust out in 124th, not necessarily a man you'd want to hold up, physically at least you'd have trouble doing so. I decided to do Boujenah a favour and distract Larsson...
"I had a couple of tens against ace-queen and a two aces came. I was pretty short stacked so there wasn't much that I could do," said Larsson.
I made the correct sounds and a face that tried to express the sentiment, 'That's poker!' but I suspect it may just have looked like indigestion. It must be a mix of emotions, I said, you've cashed, dodged the bubble but have missed the chance for a genuine deep run because of a lost flip.
"Yes, it's a combination because I was so small stacked that I'm pretty happy to make the money but of course you want to come as far as possible," said Larsson who had bought in direct after qualifying through a live pool.
Boujenah was still at the front of the queue, waiting for something or someone to appear. I continued to distract Larsson by enquiring as to whether he'd play Copenhagen, the next stop on the EPT tour (20-25 February).
"I'm not quite sure, I don't know right now," said Larsson.
Boujenah appearred to be signing something, possibly handing over a card. I needed to buy a few more seconds. Why not Copenhagn? Do you feel it's a tougher field?
"Yeah, probably," he said, laughing, as Boujenah wandered off having dotted i's and crossed t's. My job was done and I left Larsson to collect his €7,500.
Behind Larsson more players had arrived, one texting news of his tournament departure, another holding a large hotel pillow. Click on the payouts tab on the main page of live coverage to find out who has bust and for how much. The first few are as follows:
119. Mark Emberson, €7,500
120. Lucille Cailly, €7,500
121. Philippe Ktorza, €7,500
122. Matthieu Lamagnere, €7,500
123. Slobodan Bjelobrk, €7,500
124. Andreas Larsson, €7,500
125. Rodrigo Milo Scartezini, €7,500
126. Mathieu Biague, €7,500
127. Christophe Denizart, €7,500
128. Ilan Boujenah, €3,750
129. Eric Nhouyvanisvong, €3,750