EPT10 Deauville: Conflict and contrast

"It's really weird, isn't it?"

The question came from over my left shoulder. I turned to see PokerNews reporter Chris "Homer" Hall, scratching his beard in contemplation.

To what Chris referred wasn't immediately apparent. I had been following the previous few hands played by Zimnan Ziyard, curious to see the British player having successfully accumulated chips to near the 300,000-mark, giving him the apparent chip lead with about 220 players left.

I recalled how the EPT8 Loutraki champion had positioned himself similarly at the end of Day 2 a year ago in the EPT Deauville Main Event, finishing that day second in chips with a little over 150 players remaining. He'd continue to do well thereafter, but slid to fall in 69th.

In other words, the symmetry of the situation had seized by attention -- a pattern. But it was something incongrous Chris had noticed. He pointed to the opposite wall.

"You have the round pillars there," he began, then waved a finger along a horizontal line. "But over here it's all straight lines and points."


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Old and new, lines and curves, light and dark


The contrast having been highlighted, I looked back and forth and had to nod. Columns positioned at equal intervals on one side resembled classical architecture, as though meant to evoke the ancient world. Then on the adjacent wall came a series of peaked roofs, more modern. Looking further, the collection of colors and grays, of lights and darks, seemed further to support Chris's thesis.

I turned back and Chris was gone, leaving me to consider further what now seemed a perplexing collection of curves and angles, made stranger by the temporary structure surrounding the televised table in one corner where the EPTLive feature table played out -- like something from the future here joining the present and past.

I looked back down at Table 24. Ziyard was still holding sway, three-betting and taking another small pot before the flop. Looking around the table, the variety of the players' appearance seemed more apparent after the involuntary study of the room's design.


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Table 24


Among those then battling against the new chip leader from the U.K. were Jorma Nuutinen (Finland), Manig Loeser (Germany), Kaddouri Mounim (France), Renato Almeida (Portugal), and Giuliano Bendinelli (Italy), all brought together to the same place from disparate lands and backgrounds. In conflict and in contrast.

Check our live reporting page to see how if Ziyard's Day 2 continues to follow last year's pattern, or perhaps another jarring juxtaposition arises for us to contemplate.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in European Poker Tour