EPT9 Grand Final Super High Roller: Crowd does its best to give Watson a send-off
These people may be super high rollers, but it's not exactly a super high roller crowd. There is no elevation in status; the crowd are not decked out in diamonds and pearls. Quite the opposite on what is a Spartan rail, numbering, with me included, six.
One man watches intently, leaning on the rail and gripping it with both hands. He's well-tanned, thin and, unusually for a man of his years, wears a two piece white and sky blue Adidas tracksuit with matching Adidas shoes - all day he dreams about super high rollers. He also has a moustache, certainly the only one in the Salle des Etoiles right now.
Further along a woman in jeans leans on the rail, holding her purse, standing directly behind where Jason Mercier sits. She stands watching for some time before she notices a roving camera over her right shoulder, which prompts her to move along a little. Coming the other way is Sarah Grant and her giant Lithuanian cameraman Mantyvas, and the woman is forced to shuffle back again.
All this means she almost misses the departure of Mike Watson in seventh place.
Watson, watched by someone on the rail who looked a lot like him, shoved, with the action getting back to Sorel Mizzi in the big blind, who asked Matt Altergott (who had opened) for a count before shoving himself with aces. It was a subtle ploy from Mizzi, which may have given Watson a glimmer of hope with his king-queen. His face when he saw the brick wall he was up against spoke of devastation.
The final table stage
Watson made his way to the pay-out desk, followed by the man who looks a lot like him. Card caller Shawn Lytle asked for a big round of applause and the six of us did the best we could to give him a send-off. Disappointed at having won only €218,300, Watson decided to spend €10,000 of it by immediately joining the €10,000 Turbo taking place off stage.
That reduced the crowd to five until a few others ambled up - Tony Gregg, Dan Smith, Andrew Lichtenberger and Isaac Haxton, on a break from the Turbo, checking in on their friends on stage. A super high roller crowd after all.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.
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