EPT10 Deauville: Welcome to Ekrem Sanioglu's Parisian party

A new chip leader has emerged in Deauville -- and his name is not Eugene Katchalov. Ekrem Sanioglu first came to our attention this afternoon when a colleague referenced our earlier cheeky toying with French sartorial stereotypes and pointed in Sanioglu's direction.

Sanioglu, who is indeed French, is the only man in the room wearing a blue and white striped T-shirt and it was all too easy to draw the comparison to the age-old image of a Parisian and his onions and his bike.

There's much more to Sanioglu than just that T-shirt, though. He is also wearing blue suede shoes, has an Armani scarf draped across his knees and a small Armani man-bag tucked behind him on his chair. But there's much more to Sanioglu even that that. He is also up to 1.1m in chips, perhaps marginally ahead even of Katchalov, who is on a tear on the feature table.


Ekrem Sanioglu: Fun in Deauville

As ever when a table is being streamed, conversation is slow around Katchalov. The same is simply not true on Sanioglu's table, however, where it is positively boisterous, involving not only the chip leader but also Alexandre Amiel and Jerome Zerbib who are playing, plus Paul Testud and a handful of other French players on the rail. It's like a Paris bar at closing time.

"It's a friendly table, everyone shows one card," said Amiel as he raked a pot. He was referencing a previous hand, where Sanioglu had pushed Tony Blanchandin off a pot. On that one, Sanioglu, who would have been in the small blind pre flop, bet 13,000 at a board of 5♠J♠K♦. Blanchandin raised to 36,000 and Sanioglu called.

The 9♦ turned and Sanioglu instantly announced that he was all in, comfortably covering Blanchandin. Sanioglu rocked back in his chair, folded his arms tightly across his chest, and grinned at Blanchandin.

Blanchandin folded and, after vocal encouragement from Zerbib, Sanioglu showed the 5♥ to the table.

Sangioglu raised the next hand, and took it, but then folded the next hand and headed to his iPhone where he is streaming what looks like a glitzy television chat show on YouTube. He then left that to wander to the rail and greet Massimo Di Cicco with a kiss on both cheeks.

That's what you're missing focusing on Eugene Katchalov on EPT Live. It's a Parisian party out there.


You're watching Eugene. The rest of the room is watching Sanioglu

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.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour