EPT10 Deauville: Chris Day just can't wait to be king
When Chris Day bagged up a chip leading 154,100 at the end of Day 1A he must have felt pretty justified in the sales pitch he'd made on the 2+2 forum:
With the Aussie Millions and Borgata Main Event running at the same time these events should be filled with a lot of weaker and satellite players. I believe this leaves a lot of value for this event.
Although Day 2 has been a roller coaster - from 154,100 down to 60,000 and now up 156,000 - it's tough to argue with the explanation he gave at the last break.
"When you get down to the final two tables in an EPT you're normally going to have a Mike McDonald or a Vanessa Selbst, and here you're not going to have that necessarily," said Day. "There are a lot of big names still here, Eugene Katchalov, ElkY, all those guys, but if you take one or two of those big players out of the final 45 players it can be a big difference."
Day's previously won a chunky EPT side event and carries himself like a player who feels he has another big money final table just around the corner. It's a strong sales point. Day had offered up 35% of his action across a package of events in the staking thread, where players details their record, skills and mark up - and where that initial statement appears. On a sliding scale dependent on money invested, the 23-year-old had set his line between 1.2 and 1.3 mark up, meaning that €100 of tournament equity would cost you between €120 and €130 in real money. Mark up is there to cover expenses and expected return. For instance, you'd snap off Daniel Negreanu selling at 1.3, but perhaps not EPTLive's Marc Convey (although he'll still manage to talk someone into it). It sold pretty much instantly to two different investors.
"I marked this up really low," explained Day. "I'd just got back from the PCA and hadn't played any satellites online to this, but I just felt really good and wanted to come. I put it up there to gauge interest and two people wanted to buy the whole thing. It was a lower mark-up than I would have liked, but being able to play the side events is nice. I didn't want to come here, spend one thousand, two thousand euros and just play one tournament. I definitely priced myself too low, but, you know, I wouldn't have come here if I didn't sell it. I didn't want to sit there waiting to see if it sold at a higher mark up."
Day was born in the UK, but moved to the US when he was around seven-years-old, but has more recently moved to London (the whole being able to play at PokerStars helps on that front). Following business school in Boston and two internships in London, where he lives with his girlfriend, Day's taken the opportunity to give poker a shot and spend his time travelling Europe.
It could all have been very different through.
"I was a high school tennis player, college tennis player," said Day. "(I didn't) necessarily a chance to go pro, but nerve damage meant that I needed two surgeries, cortisone shots and literally couldn't play tennis anymore. That's when I started playing poker some more. I was stuck in a sling and couldn't do anything."
Day has racked up $237,013 in live tournaments and around $150k in online tournament winnings on PokerStars, where he plays using an avatar image from Disney film The Lion King.
"My family makes fun of me about it," said Day. "I just love the Lion King. It's my favourite movie. I've seen the Broadway shows and all that. It's just a big joke in my family. I was having surgery on my arm and before I went in I said, 'I have to listen to my favourite songs first, the Circle of Life and I Just Can't Wait to be King."
He may want to be king for a day, but plenty of other players are also hungry to do so. That would certainly include UKIPT Marbella winner Ludo Geilich who impressed at the EPT London final table with an expansive game that seemed to carry a VPP that would make your ears pop. The pair entered a clicking war earlier today. Geilich opened from the hijack and Day three-bet from the big blind. So far, so standard. Geilich four-bet to 10,200, Day came back for 21,200 and Geilich made the six-bet worth 35,200 total. Day had looked unhappy and had passed. Geilich showed the 3♣.
"It's one of those spots where I was sure that I had him beat," said Day, grimacing slightly. "I knew that he was bluffing, but in that two or three per cent chance that he's not... I knew that my only move was to go all-in. I think he knew that I was bluffing and if I go make it 55 or 60k I can't call off there with ace-four. I'm pretty sure I beat whatever he had, but I'm not shoving 120 big blinds in there. I shouldn't have made the five-bet in hindsight knowing that I wouldn't go for the seven-bet all-in."
Day had likely reminded himself of his statement about value in the field and had opted to find easier spots. That said, he did miss the chance to hustle last year on tour.
"Mat Frankland (a British EPT regular) asked about playing tennis and I mentioned about how I used to play college tennis and he said, 'Man, you could have taken us all for a lot of money if you didn't tell us that.' So, no, I haven't made any money off of that."
Well, your secret is safe with us, Chris...
Click through to live updates, features and interviews from the EPT Deauville Main Event.
Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.