EPT10 Prague: Fading into memory as the fat lady sings

In the world of Opera, Puccini's Madame Butterfly must count as having one of the more memorable "departures" from the stage. At the denouement "Butterfly" commits suicide as her lover Pinkerton departs with his new wife, and Butterfly's child. Butterfly manages a cracking rendition of Con onor muore before departing, leaving the audience with something to think about as they trundle out for a late dinner.

In football it's now standard to see the defeated finalists lying on the field for a bit, faces buried into the turf as charitable members of the opposition pat them on the back. Others sit on the grass for their close-up, looking over at the victors, wandering what could have been.

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The final table

In politics, it's the role for the defeated to be gracious, with a concession speech which, if done well, leaves voters wondering if they hadn't just elected the wrong candidate. Still, it's an opportunity for the beaten to be remembered.

But in poker there is none of that, no such theatre. The eliminated are despatched quickly and without much thought as they leave the stage, the camera rarely turning away from the remaining players who fight on.

So when Jorma Nuutinen went in eighth place it was instead Julian Track, the man who sent him there, who put in the emotional turn. Some thought that his cold four-bet with tens was indicative of a man prepared to call a five bet shove. Instead Track squirmed, looking almost sulky as he finally decided to call, turning over his hand.

It was perhaps not classic poker but it was a classic race, or was until the ten hit the flop, sending the petulant Track further into the lead while Nuutinen, in the traditional way, faded into memory.

No foot stamping or agonising as to what might have been, no close up of the distraught Finn and thankfully no ending akin to Puccini's heroine. Instead, all the agonising was left to Track, who takes another step closer to this EPT title.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour