EPT10 Grand Final: Jonathan Odogwu, soon to appear on a screen near you

The last level of the day is usually when things get quiet, at least in terms of volume. The end of play is in sight - the bagging up, the mutual backslapping after another day survived, and the not altogether stress-free decision of which expensive restaurant to go to for dinner.

The drink of choice is coffee, there's less chat to be heard, less exclamation (those players must be out by now), just the focus required to pack up tonight and come back fresh tomorrow. It's also has something to do with there being fewer players. The field has been cut in half, with many of the draws now departed, including Phil Ivey, who we seem to have bokked, and Antonio Esfandiari.

Then again there's one player in the field today who, when it comes time to watch the live coverage broadcast on television, might be worth keeping an eye out for. His name is Jonathan Odogwu.


jonathan_odogwu_ept10mon_d2.jpg

Jonathan Odogwu in action on Day 1A

Odogwu is from the UK and can thank various freerolls for his seat in Monaco. He plays like a man freerolling and like a man who made up his mind from the start to have a good time in the process. On this latter point I can confirm that this is still his policy.
Odogwu likes to talk. He keeps a Grosvenor Vic card protector in front of his chips, and an uncut cigar behind them, but it's hard to fathom when he gets time to put it in his mouth. His conversation style is "relentless", but it has a positive effect.

Some players at the table show signs of finding it irritating - even David Yan blanked him as the pair played a pot. But then, with players like Odogwu, you'll always crack eventually, especially when you discover that his polite demeanour is genuine and not part of some ruse to lead you astray.

Odogwu's play may not be sophisticated. He says things like: "You give me no respect," to any raise, and told Latvian player Martins Seilis not to be offended if he beat him in a hand which he promptly folded. But it's kind of endearing and is part of the reason why a camera crew patrols the space around his table.

But with less than half an hour of play remaining even the baritone of Odogwu has gone quiet, and the faces of those he plays against look weary. It's now about keeping chips with which to return tomorrow, a day that will probably reveal more about Jonathan Odogwu.

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.