EPT10 Deauville: A Casino Royale moment as the bubble nears

"That was a Casino Royale moment for real poker players."

So commented Team PokerStars Pro Jan Heitmann during Day 3's initial level, the words spoken through the German pro's ever-present grin. The observation followed one of those wild hands that no matter how many times we witness them, they still strike us as somehow stranger-than-fiction.

We were discussing Casino Royale yesterday -- Ian Fleming's original James Bond novel, primarily, set in a fictional casino in northern France based directly on the casino at Deauville. We mentioned in passing the poker game of the 2006 film adaptation that functions as a kind of dramatic centerpiece, and the hand Bond wins with a straight flush over two full houses and a lesser flush.

The hand at Heitmann's table involved his table neighbor, Istvan Birizdo of Hungary, and Jasper Wetemans of the Netherlands sitting a few seats over. Wetemans was all in and at risk with A♦Q♠ against Birizdo's K♥K♣, and the big blind having folded an ace before the community cards inspired a shrugging response from Wetemans.

"At least there are two more," said the Dutchman, referencing the remaining aces in admirable "live and let live" fashion.

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"Cest la vie" thinks Wetemans

But it's an ever changing world in which we're living. Makes you give in and cry....

The flop came J♦A♣2♥, bringing one of those needed aces for Wetemans. Then the K♠ fell on fourth, giving Birizdo a set of kings and swinging the lead to the Hungarian. The dealer then burned a card and dropped fifth street into place -- the T♥ to give Wetemans a winning straight. Heitmann couldn't help but react.

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"Mon Dieu!"

Not quite as improbable as the hand in Casino Royale, but still a hold'em adventure worthy of a title like You Only Live Twice or Die Another Day.

Alas for Heitmann, his own EPT adventure wouldn't last much longer once he'd push his short stack with 4♠4♦, was called by Andrew Sweeney holding K♣K♦, and no last-minute four came to save him.

Like Wetemans, Heitmann was philosophical about being eliminated shy of the cash, commenting that he'd been short to start the day and wasn't disappointed to finish as he did.

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The bright-side-looking Heitmann

The tourney marches on without the Team PokerStars Pro, with more twists to the EPT Deauville plot still to come.

Follow our coverage from EPT Deauville by heading to the main EPT Deauville page. There's hand-by-hand coverage in the top panel, plus chip counts, and feature pieces below. EPT Live coverage continues today as well, so tune in there for a close-up view of the action.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in European Poker Tour