EPT10 Barcelona: Is Aranas Alekberovas about to unravel?

Are these the first chinks in Anaras Alekberovas's armour? The first loose threads in his sports coat?

Anaras Alekberovas, who led for much of the day yesterday after an unstoppable performance, lost what appeared to be his first pot in that time, allowing Nicolau Villa-Lobos to double-up in the first level of the day. It was a pot worth 600,000 of the Lithuanian's chips, and an extended stay for Villa-Lobos.

What's more the hand visibly irked Alekberovas, who had misjudged the size of Villa-Lobos's stack. The Brazilian has a tendency to stack his chips in irregular numbers, leading to all sorts of chaos in the neatly organised mind of the Lithuanian.

Alekberovas looked mortal for the first time, or at least had experienced an emotion other than apathy. His main event may even take a different course.

Anaras Alekberovas: note the eyebrows

That said, his game face was quick to return (the eyebrows are an eighth of an inch higher), and he was soon recouping lost chips, head propped up on his arm, looking apathetic again.

But Alekberovas is no longer the certainty he seemed yesterday for a spot at back to back Barcelona finals. A short while ago Spaniard Emilio Jimenez brought him new problems, details of which will follow shortly. He's down to 850,000.

Alekberovas must now dig in, hoist up those eyebrows, and begin his fight back. He may be running out of time.

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Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour