EPT9 Prague: Lights, camera, action on Fabretti
Few things suggest you're a player comfortable with your game than a film crew following you around. Pier Paolo Fabretti is among the leaders on Day 2 and at each break finds himself the centre of attention of a camera crew from MTV Italy, here to make a pilot for a new TV show. It was supposed to feature both Fabretti and Luca Pagano, but after busting yesterday Pagano has returned to Italy, leaving Fabretti to deal with all the attention. The time he spends laughing with them at the break suggests he doesn't seem to mind.
"It's not a distraction," he said at the break. "I feel pretty good with the camera because I just played some television tables and participated in a TV show. I also did the commentary on the Italian show for IPT and EPT. So I don't feel the pressure. It's fun."
Action! on Pier Paolo Fabretti
Fabretti certainly makes it look fun, chatting at the break with the three man film crew who had shadowed him since he landed at the airport. But Fabretti has cause to be in a good mood. He started the day on 100,000 and was up to 200,000 before losing a pot and dropping down to 170,000. With the average being around 90,000, Prague is going well.
This is after all, the birth place of the Italian poker boom. When Salvatore Bonavena won the title here in 2008 it was the catalyst for all sorts of changes, coupled with the success of Luca Pagano, turning the new fascination with the game into the Italian Poker Tour.
For Fabretti too Prague has fond memories. He played the main event in the Bonavena year, having qualified online, and was part of the crowd who cheered Bonavena to victory and then partied into the night with the new champion.
A former Magic: The Gathering player, he had been introduced to poker by friends three years earlier and by the time Bonavena posed for photos in Prague, Fabretti had already notched up his first two live cashes, both second places, in Sanremo. These were only small events, but Fabretti had already established himself as a solid online player. Now, like countless other Italian players, he was looking to make the leap from the national stage to the international.
Before long Fabretti had won his first title, the €10,000 High Roller at IPT Nova Gorica, in Slovenia, and was becoming more known as a fearless pro, scoring his first cash on the EPT a short while later before stringing together a run of results on the Italian Poker Tour. Now 27, Fabretti's live winnings have reached more than $235,000, with online winnings that would suggest further live results in the future
Either way, regardless of what happens here it will be recorded for posterity by MTV. Win or lose you sense Fabretti will still smile for the camera, in that way good players in good form can.
Follow hand-by-hand coverage, plus latest chip counts, in the panel at the top of the main EPT Prague page.