EPT10 Grand Final: Salter "sleeps" amid "ante-gate" "drama"
There's no easing in to a day 4. The action kicks off from the very start. With a hand played on table six tournament director Luca Vivaldi arrived carrying chip trays to break their table. David Cowling had busted in 41st place so it was time for this table of players to say their farewells and disperse.
Nikita Nikolaev made his way to table 4 where Jack Salter was asleep. Well perhaps not asleep, maybe just resting his eyes. But it's hard to tell because his face was obscured, leaning as it was on his arms which are crossed on the table.
Salter looks exhausted, although when he wanted some water he leapt from his chair with the dexterity of a flyweight. If in doubt water will always perk you up, whatever the condition - something the oxygen bar people on display outside the tournament area would rather you didn't know.
Salter has less than 100,000 on front of him. This is a good thing. A big stack right now would leave him with no empty space on which to rest his head. This way, he can build his stack up gradually throughout the day as he begins to wake up.
While he rested Nikolaev was embroiled in "anti-gate" with Frenchman Idris Ambraisse.
Ambraisse has a unique personal style. Just as there are women with a fondness for Hello Kitty, Ambraisse has a similar affection for Mikey Mouse, in many ways making him the male version of Kitty Kuo. Today, in addition to his Mickey Mouse cap (just pictures, he's not wearing Mickey Mouse ears), he also has on a Mickey Mouse t-shirt. But there's nothing Mickey Mouse about the way he plays. It was he who sent Cowling to the rail to start the day, the latest of a long line of players to run into him and come out badly this week.
But he was a suspect in anti-gate, a case of two players claiming to have paid one ante. Nobody really cared or minded much as the floor person was called. It was more than play had stopped and any quick remedy was preferable to a correct slow one.
Vladimir Troyanovskiy had the solution. He took out a euro coin and gave it to Nikolaev.
While Vivaldi said they would play the hand with an ante short, Troyanovkiy preferred his way. Short of another solution, everyone agreed. At which point Ambraisse had second thoughts and decided that perhaps he should put in another ante. There was a chorus of respect from everyone and play continued.
A short while later Salter doubled, getting his chips in with ace-nine against Nikolaev's kings. Salter got his ace on the turn, doubling his stack. More chips, less space. But Salter is now well and truly awake.
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.