EPT9 Barcelona: Teaching a pit-bull to chill
Despite a first-rate performance, Fatima Moreira de Melo's day came to an end in 16th place today, one table short of her first EPT final table.
Moreira de Melo enjoyed a great day three and a difficult day four, but the plan came to an end on day five. If anyone had any doubts to the former Olympic gold medallist's desire to conquer poker, her fighting spirit was evident throughout.
Speaking at the break prior to her departure Moreira de Melo refused to blame her current plight on her unfortunate position first immediately to the left, then immediately to the right of Ilari Sahamies, who has put fear in everyone in the tournament area except perhaps the massage therapists who continue to rub his head and walloping his spine for a Euro a minute.
Moreira de Melo, however, put her new found tranquillity down to a recent appearance on the Benelux edition of Survivor, which airs later this month.
Fatima Moreira de Melo: "I just want to play well."
"To be honest, maybe a few months back but I'm really chilled at the moment," she said. "I did Survivor, Matthias and Christophe de Meulder were on that as well. It made me calmer. It does change you a little bit.
"I just have to be a milder version of myself. I'm a pit bull. In my normal life that's my preference. But I learned that over there you can't be exactly who you are in your normal life, the circumstances are different. Maybe because you're hungry you don't feel like your normal self. I felt like a vegetable most of the time.
"If you get upset about everything that doesn't go your way then you're going to be off the show pretty quickly. So you have to be a bit milder, a bit more patient and let things be. I think it just makes it easier for poker for me. I just let it be."
A short while later after Anaras Alekberovas's queens sent her to the rail, Moreira de Melo had chance to put her new found tranquillity to the test.
"Right after you bust you're always disappointed," said Moreira de Melo. "But I know I have to be grateful for it, that I made it this far. I can't blame myself and that always makes it a little better. I had my best day on day three. Some people have it today.
"I just want to play well. I guess in a few hours I'll be happy about that. Now, I'm just annoyed."