EPT8 Deauville: Rogez makes it a memorable departure
We've just seen a first for the European Poker Tour, perhaps even for poker itself. Never before has a player moved all-in by force, shoving in for his big blind because, well, that's all he had left.
It was as though Olivier Rogez felt better of himself than to submit himself to the misery of an academic departure; not for him the textbook shove with ten big blinds, nor with five, not even two. Rogez was happy to leave it to one.
The end had to come for Olivier Rogez
By now there was a lot of support (privately at least) for Rogez to fold one last time, a finger up at the established and traditional format for such occasions. Why not? A surrender with honour rather than the indignity of moving in with nothing for nothing and getting nothing. This was a way to go down in poker history as the man who cradled his stack to the grave, refusing to pay lip service to convention.
This is almost what Rogez did, his Jack-three worth nothing alongside Paul Guichard's Kings.
We may well forget who wins this event (work with me here) but the thing we might most remember is Rogez's departure, at least more than any other sixth place finisher.
Like Eric the Eel (Eric Moussambani), the swimmer from Equatorial Guinea, competing in the Olympic 100m freestyle event eight months after learning to swim; or like Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, the British Olympic ski jumper, properly useless (we have neither snow or ski jumps in the UK) but prepared to hurtle down a mountain regardless; Rogez may not have meant to go out with such a whimper, but he lost no face in doing so, walking away with €155,000 and becoming something of a folk hero.
That's a win in anyone's book, particular for Rogez's who counted his qualification for this event as the highlight of his poker career.
Your sixth place finisher, Olivier Rogez.