EPT10 Deauville: Believing in Bahram

"He folded queens... he showed aces...!!!"

The reporters were reporting to each other before sharing the news with anyone else. The hand was a story, the telling of which was hard to resist.

Bahram Chobineh was already a story, of course. We saw his video interview with Laura Cornelius of PokerStars.tv yesterday, to whom he reported a home game in which he'd been the first eliminated, and thus per an agreement among the players agreed to come to Deauville to play in his first ever EPT event.

To Laura, the amiable Iranian insisted upon his lack of poker savvy. Yet he'd lasted into the cash, and as players continued to fall yesterday, there he remained.

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"I'm still here!?" (Bahram Chobineh at the end of Day 3)

Kind of hard to believe, but there he was.

One of 41 returning for Day 4, Chobineh continued to hold his seat while 10 more players lost theirs during the first level. Then just before the break came the hand all were subsequently telling each other about.

Chobineh had limped in from under the gun, a play we might find odd but for that background story. Then when Carlo De Benedittis raised behind him and it folded back around, Chobineh reraised small himself.

Hmm... a limp-reraise. Seldom seen, that. But then, Chobineh had already started to stand out from the crowd.

But there was no time to think further about it... De Benedittis was saying he was all in!

A count followed, showing Chobineh covered. Three full minutes passed. Then came the fold... Q♠Q♥ face up! De Benedittis then tabled his A♣A♦, and suddenly everyone was taking a second look at Chobineh.

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Chobineh, still with chips

The break arrived and having passed the hand's story back and forth a few times, we decided it best to talk to Chobineh himself.

"Actually it started a little bit like... I'm getting not good cards?" he began, referring to the cold run of hands dealt to him through much of the day's first level. Then, at last, came the queens.

"So... my opponent raised, and I reraised him. And he went all in. I was not really comfortable with my queens, so I made a sick fold... a big fold. And he showed me pocket aces."

Great fold, we replied. "That is a great fold," he nodded with a slight smile. "I know so many people don't fold those. I just didn't feel comfortable with that."

Still grinning, he took half a step back, almost as though backing away from the idea of himself that was starting to be advanced in our conversation -- namely, that he was playing well.

"But I'm still lucky to be in," he insisted.

Referring back to the story of his having come to Deauville at all, he chuckled. "I came here and nobody knew that I was going to come up to this stage. One of my friends flew from another country just to be here. So he's around telling me what to do."

"But honestly at the end, I don't know what I'm doing."

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Does he... or doesn't he?

With just 24 players left now and Chobineh still among them, his story is starting to be passed around with increasing frequency. And with the protagonist taking such a position about himself, it seems as though the next chapter could contain just about anything.

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 also starts today, 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