EPT8 Madrid: Getting the right break
There's no formula for how a chip leader takes in the break. Some will linger, chatting with friends or a player, while others will leave the room and find somewhere to pace up and down in private for a few minutes.
Ricardo Ibanez is among the latter.
While the French players gathered outside in the sunshine to smoke, Ibanez was on his own, in an area around a corner occupied only by himself.
There he walked an unpredictable pattern, flexing his shoulder muscles akin more to a boxer than a poker player. A quick word seemed unlikely, and you sensed that even if he had used "no English" as an excuse, he would have found another one to deter the Spanish.
Not so for Taylor Paur.
Paur, who has quickly put together an impressive tournament Palmares of seven WSOP cashes (and two final tables on either side of the Atlantic), is relaxed and calm. First he did an interview for PokerNews with Kristy Arnett, then took a seat to watch the world go by.
"It's going okay," said Paur. "I haven't really been involved in any big pots at all. I started the day on 734,000 and I'm down to 680,000. It's been pretty steady so far."
Paur is guaranteed his first EPT cash (on mainland Europe at least) but is still looking for a first major win. If it comes here Paur believes, rightly, that it will be against some quality opposition.
"There are a lot of good players in the field, a lot of aggressive players. I've got Timex, Mike McDonald on my left, who's one of the best, so I'm not really trying to get involved in too many pots with him; or the other players for that matter."
"I'm just trying to get good hands and see what happens," said Paur. "I'm confident. It's against good players but still feel pretty good about how I'm playing, even though I'm under average.
"Still plenty of chips to play with," he said.
Plenty of chips for Paur perhaps, but not so others, including Tristan Clemencon.
The Frenchman last made headlines in EPT Deauville three years ago where he only narrowly missed out on an EPT title. He impressed though, making his name one few relish having at their table, and even as the short stack he still poses a threat.
"Just got 12 big blinds," said Clemencon, grinning. "My plan is just find good spots. I probably will play a coin-flip or 60-40, I don't know. I just have to be lucky, wait for a good moment
"It's a very hard table. Taylor Paur on my left, then two to my left Timex. On my right, Nicolas Levi and two to my right Ilan Boujenah. Everyone's got a big stack so... it's very hard table. I'll just wait for good spot and pray!"
Level 23: blinds 10,00-20,000, ante 3,000
Players: 14 of 477
Average stack: 1,022,000
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