EPT10 Prague: Bubble deflates rather than pops
As poker tournament bubbles go, the one at EPT Prague Season 10 will not go down as a classic. Or, in actual fact, it may be the best ever seen.
There's not much to report from it, I'm afraid, and there's no picture of devastated bubble boy, his face contorted in disappointment at two-and-a-half days wasted. Indeed, it's difficult to imagine a more painless cruise into the money for the 151 players who now remain.
When the tournament went for its second break of Day 3, there were 155 players still involved, meaning that the 20-minute rest period might have been decidedly anxious. Three more players would leave with nothing and then hand-for-hand play would commence as the tension ratcheted up a notch in search of the final unfortunate penniless faller.
But it didn't quite work like that.
Within moments of play re-starting, the tournament officials asked for the clock to be paused. It seemed as though several players had been eliminated simultaneously on several different tables. No one was immediately clear on how many players had fallen, and the tournament staff now needed to take stock.
"We lost three or four players at the same time," said Teresa Nousiainen. "We're just checking."
"Oh, so it might be over?" asked Mateusz Zbikowski.
"Yes, we're just checking."
The clock was indeed halted, with 86:21 remaining in level 16, meaning all of three minutes 39 seconds had elapsed before a tortuous headcount began.
"Please take your seats players," Nousiainen said. "Media members and spectators step outside the tournament area."
Most people obeyed Nousianenen's request, but there was at least one player who wasn't going to hang around in his seat without seeing any cards. Tiberu-Florian Georgescu, the Romanian who led at the end of Day 1A, had last night hopped into the €2,000 no limit hold'em side event and had continued his good run in that.
So much so, in fact, that he had run up a stack big enough to return for day two, at the precise time that he still had a stack of about 300,000 in the main. He had no choice but to multi-table, and spectators in the Hilton Prague were therefore treated to the sight of a stocky Romanian scooting from one tournament to the other, with both closing in on the money.
"He's crazy," said Sebastian, one of Georgescu's friends, who chuckled as he related the story to reporters.
Georgescu was absent as Nousiainen made the happy announcement to the seated players that yes, the bubble had indeed burst. There was an immediate round of applause and a few pairs of arms were thrust triumphant into the air. Others headed straight to texts and Twitter to relate their success.
In the money in the #EPTPrague main with 210k. 3 people went bust at the same time so there was no bubble. Never seen this before.— Eugene Katchalov (@EugeneKatchalov) December 15, 2013
In the money with 130K at 2-4K. No bubble with 3 players busting at same time #EPTPrague— Marc-Andre Ladouceur (@MarcAndre_FDawg) December 15, 2013
Played one hand and we are itm with 151 left. 280k at 2/4k #EPTPrague— Ari Engel (@realAriEngel) December 15, 2013
Three more levels are scheduled for today, which will likely bring us down to our final 80 or so. All eyes on Georgescu as he goes for two titles simultaneously.
For coverage of Day 3 of the EPT10 Prague Main Event, head to the EPT Prague Main Event page. There's hand-by-hand coverage and chip counts in the top panel, plus feature pieces below the line. All the information about event can be found on the main European Poker Tour website.