EPT10 Vienna: In which we fail to untangle the enigma of Pablo Gordillo
Yesterday afternoon, in a light-hearted exchange, Richard Milne took it upon himself to pull down Pablo Gordillo's hood while the two were involved in a pot. It was innocuous enough at the time, witnessed by PokerStars Blog, but the moment is gaining significance with every passing hour.
Gordillo is still the leader of this poker tournament, with close to 3m in chips, but we still know absolutely nothing about him. Milne got about as close as anybody has managed to unmasking this enigma, who has opted to let his chips do the talking this week.
On the break before level 23, Gordillo politely rebuffed PokerStars Blog's request for an interview, stating (in near perfect English) that his English was a "little bit bad". Let it be said right away that no player is under any obligation to talk to the media here, and Gordillo was absolutely as genial as could be hoped as he skipped away, apologising as he went.
But it did leave us with a bit of a conundrum. All we can find out about Gordillo from the more traditional methods is that he came third in an €200+€20 side event at the Estrellas Poker Tour stop in Madrid in January last year, earning €2,421.
We also know, via our own channels, that he is 20-years-old and qualified for this tournament via a €250 satellite on PokerStars.es, the sangria-swilling, afternoon-napping, tiki-taka-ing Spanish sister site of PokerStars.com. That, however, is it.
Over the other side of the tournament room, the €10,000 High Roller event is under way, in which both Adrian Mateos Diaz and Sergio Aido have taken their seats. That tournament was also approaching its second break of the day, so it was possible to get a word with both of them in a bid to learn a bit more about Gordillo.
"I have never seen him," Mateos Diaz said. "I know he's very aggressive, but that's it."
Aido couldn't add much more. "I've played a bit with him on PokerStars.es, mid-stakes," Aido said. "This is his first EPT."
It had widely been assumed, particularly in the past year or so, that if (when?) Spain finally breaks its EPT duck, the first champion will be either Mateos Diaz or Aido. The former won the WSOP-E title in Paris last year at the tender age of 19, a few months after claiming success on the Estrellas Poker tour in Madrid.
The latter broke through at an extraordinary EPT London festival this time last year, when he claimed a UKIPT title and then went deep in the Main Event. Both have been flying through the limits since then.
If any young player wants to find a role model for their own endeavours, they would actually do very well to cast themselves in the image of either of these two young Spanish players. After starting at the low limits, they both boosted their bankrolls dramatically with their respective dramatic successes, and turned pro shortly thereafter.
They relocated to the UK, where they share a flat and grind online, and have built a bankroll that allows them to take a stab at the odd €10,000 event, when they have run their race in the other festival tournaments.
It's a higher level of competition, of course, but these two players are steadily becoming among the best in the world.
Gordillo may yet beat them in their quest to be the first Spanish EPT champion, but you wouldn't bet against either becoming the first Spanish EPT High Roller victor instead.