EPT8 Monaco $25,000 High Roller: The run good myth

ept-thumb-promo.jpg"Form" in poker can be a strange old thing. People talk about "run good" as if it's the sudden equivalent of liquid gold pouring out of bathroom taps. On the other hand, the player "running bad" might feel as though they are trudging through an arid desert without a drop of water in sight. (And even when they do find a well, then winch up the bucket to find it full of sand, maybe with someone else's bad beat story kindly printed out, rolled up and poking out.)

The kind of players who enter $25,000 High Roller events tend to be less susceptible to the whole superstition thing. They know that a bad run will be cancelled out if they stick with it long enough, and that it's sensible not to get too carried away by an uptick in form. Even Jason Mercier and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier don't win every flip they play.

However this event in Monaco affords us the opportunity to conduct a very small investigation into the nature of short-term run good, based on its slightly unusual entry policy.

If you cast your mind back to yesterday, you'll remember us talking about players re-entering the tournament after losing all their chips. For the first four levels, busted players could cough up another $25,000 and get another 50,000 tournament points. Clearly people didn't believe that much in run bad if they were encouraged to buy in again.

At the other end of the spectrum, there were also a handful of players in the tournament who had won their seats via a live satellite event on the eve of the big dance. Those players were, by definition, running good, having paid only one tenth of the entry fee to book their spot.

So what became of the re-loaders (ie, those running bad) and the satellite winners (ie, those running good)? Let's find out shall we.

The players who bought back in yesterday were as follows, and what transpired after they bought a second stack is in brackets:


Dan Shak (32,500 chips at end of day 1)
Govert Metaal (38,900)
Daniel Negreanu (102,700)
Faisal Alfalasi (Busted)
JC Alvarado (Busted)
Viktor Blom (67,500)
Imad Derwiche (40,100)
Martin Finger (203,700 - top 10 in chips)
Tony Gregg (Busted)
Eui Kim (Busted)
Mikhail Korotkikh (Busted)
Mike McDonald (213,500)
Scott Seiver (Busted)
Roger Tondeur (Busted)


Daniel Negreanu. Has apple. Not afraid to use it

Satellite winners:

David Deutsch (Busted day one)
Vincent van den Fluit (341,200 - second in chips)
Martin Schleich (Busted day one)
Peter Akery (73,600)
Sorel Mizzi (120,200)
Dori Yacoub (Busted day one)
Ivan Kudriavtcev (Busted day one)
Igor Kurganov (279,900 - top ten in chips)
Andries Swart (Busted day one)
Georgios Karakousis (Busted day one)
Ognjen Sekularac (Busted day one)
JC Alvarado (Busted day one)

So seven of the 14 players who re-entered went on to dust off their second stacks too, with only really Martin Finger and Mike McDonald putting their re-entries to really good use.


Martin Finger

On the other hand eight of the 12 satellite winners were out before the end of yesterday, but of those whose survived - in particular Vincent van den Fluit and Igor Kurganov - prospered still. (You'll notice that JC Alvarado won a satellite, busted, and bought back in. So he fits in both groups.)

I'm not at all sure that this really tells us anything. Indeed, probably all it really does is convince us once again that poker doesn't really respect the rules of run good or run bad, at least not at this level.

Since all this tortuous calculation began, Viktor Blom has doubled up and then busted from the tournament. And Sorel Mizzi has also lost his 120,000 overnight stack. So any perceived run good that he was experiencing is also over.


Viktor Blom: Buy, bust, re-buy, sleep, bust

And so, they play on. There are 37 players left, meaning eight have departed already. That's a full table. Now to lose three more.

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Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour