EPT8 Deauville: Kerignard chokes, but only in the literal sense
It was probably the most dramatic moment of the final table so far, the double up of Yorane Kerignard in front of the home crowd.
Short stacked, Kerignard got his chips in with king-six, not the best of options but Kerignard was short of chips and time, moving in for 660,000. Bruno Jais called with ace-ten and tossed his cards into the middle for the dealer to display.
The flop came Q♠J♥4♠ to force the abdication of his king, leaving only a six for survival, another king only serving Jais for a straight.
The turn came a deuce. Kerignard stood ready to leave, picking up his bottle of water as he did so, ready to take a long gulp.
Was this premeditated? A little theatre just in case his miracle card hit the river?
Kerignard took a gulp just as the six of diamonds hit the river. The Frenchman caught sight of it and nearly choked as his friends on the rail stood in unison to cheer, Kerignard pumping his fist as they did so, water going everywhere.
Casino staff, grouped together at the side of the stage looked on bewildered. This kind of thing doesn't usually happen at the slot machines or in the smoking cubicle. This is something different; this is the absurdity of a high stakes poker tournament.
Kerignard plays on.