EPT10 Grand Final: Amid all the confusion The Petersen System never fails

If you're seeking instruction on how best to arrive at an EPT Main Event look no further than PokerStars Team Online's Mickey Petersen. His routine is very simple. Turn up, sit down, don't fuss, find aces, then rest.

It's a simple process, so simple in fact that it's a wonder more people don't try it. An awful lot of players choose instead to work themselves up into a kind of frenzy, all nerves, ticks and telephone calls. Not Mickey.


The system works, at least it does for Mickey Petersen

So all he could do was watch as everyone at his table had some sort of issue to contend with, personal crises, starting with Bartolomeo-Fulvio Tato in the seat next to him.

Tato, an Italian businessman, immaculately dressed in blazer and tie, and carrying a small holdall, like a wash bag, was intent on planning his day two campaign before he'd even played a hand on day one. He was insistent that a member of the tournament staff bring him a printed list of all of those who made it through eight levels yesterday, presumably so he could establish what chance he had against them, should today go well.

He finally got an answer that satisfied his wishes and took his seat, arranging his bag on a small table that a dealer agreed to fetch for him. He then busies himself with a few adjustments to his jacket, his sleeves, his Mercedes cap, his glasses, and his chips.

While a man in the corner of the tournament room set about performing some stretches, working his calves, hamstrings and then his shoulders (few people flinch at this kind of thing anymore), a new player arrived to take up a position in seat three next to Tato. Only, it already had a player sitting in it, and the two seat threes looked at each other, like you might if your doppelganger walked up to you and tapped you on the shoulder. Each refused to move.

The dealer excelled in untangling the mess. After a flash of panic, his face returned to its normal resting state of mirth. For this is Yoni, the happiest dealer on the EPT, forever peering out from under a shock of curls, cheeky enough to joke with players, and once, as witnessed in the Gents bathroom at EPT Prague, brush his teeth whilst simultaneously using a public urinal.


"It'll go to his head": Yoni the dealer

"They made a mistake," said Yoni, referring without hesitation to his employers, before then calmly instructing the first man in seat three to give his chips back, stand up, and pretend all this had never happened. This player thus became perhaps the first man in tour history to be eliminated from a table but not the tournament itself. The man who replaced him then decided now was a good time to make a call, and disappeared, perhaps to spread word of this little victory.

Petersen watched all of this from the protecting veil of his headphones, although it's possible he ignored all of it, the fidgeting, the manoeuvres, the exiling of incorrectly positioned players. Then those aces arrived, against Brazilian Hilton Laborda, whose girlfriend, standing behind him, offered her man some pills. The Brazilian declined. This might be a table best faced without medication, and besides, he'd just seen for himself the answer to the opening stages: turn up, sit down, don't fuss, find aces, then rest.

All the hand-by-hand action, including chip counts, will be in the panel at the top of the main event page. We will have feature pieces below that.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.