EPT10 Vienna: That Richard Milne, not that Richard Milne
At almost every EPT stop for the past season or so, the tournament administrators in charge of the player lists have been presented with what looks like an error. There's a player on the list called Richard Milne, from Glasgow, Scotland. And then there's another player with the same name, town and country.
"We're the tag team," one of the Richard Milnes said this afternoon. "We travel everywhere together."
Richard Milne and Richard Milne are actually father and son, aged 52 and 27 respectively. Both usually qualify for EPT Main Events on PokerStars and then tour the globe together. The older party now tends to go by Richard Milne Snr, to help avoid a meltdown in the PS Live computer, and here in Vienna he is enjoying the best run of his EPT career, sitting with a stack of close to 400,000 among the 71 players left.
"I satellited for every EPT last year, except Sanremo," Milne Snr said, who is in this event thanks to a $215 double chance satellite, his favourite. "I qualified for the Bahamas, Monte Carlo. I'm a serial satteliter...We'll be playing Sanremo, Monte Carlo this year, and we always do Las Vegas. That's the annual holiday."
Given a choice, Milne Jr prefers to play online cash games, particularly Zoom, and he has, according to his father, amassed a six-figure online bankroll. But Milne Jr didn't manage to qualify for this one, and has "got great bankroll management, not like his old fella", so opted not to buy in and is watching his dad from the rail.
A man with good bankroll management will have appreciated what he saw on the final hand before the last break of today, when Milne got involved in an enormous blind-on-blind pot with Gordillo Caballero. When I arrived, Caballero, in the big blind, had about 139,000 over the line in front of him, Milne had committed 288,000 (approx) and Caballero was in the tank.
"Do you show if I fold?" was among the various questions the Spanish player asked of the unflappable Scot, who didn't avert his gaze from the middle of the table.
Almost out of nowhere, Caballero announced that he was all in, and a surprised Milne asked for a count. Caballero's 570,000 covered Milne, and our hero seemed to smell a rat. Caballero put up his hood. Milne simply reached above his opponent's head, pinched the top of the hood between hit thumb and index finger, and pulled it down again.
"You can't do that!" Caballero protested, but it was already done. Caballero resorted to chewing on his wristband as the clock ticked down to the end of the level and Milne tossed his cards away.
"I had nines," Milne said. Caballero showed his K♣K♥, got a pat on the back from Milne, and away they went on their break.
"If he would have put them in straight away, I might have thought about calling him," Milne Snr told Milne Jr later. "But I got away from it." He thought a beat and then added: "But a nine might have came on the flop! You would have heard the roar!"
Both Milnes only got into poker in about 2006, learning at the same time. According to Milne Snr, he leapt straight into playing the game, whereas his son took some more time studying books and gaining a hold of the strategy. Milne Snr won the first tournament he played at his local casino, which was a satellite to the Irish Open, and then won a side event there for €68,000, which gave him a leg-up in the game.
Since then, he has amassed career earnings of more than $400,000, including a third placed finish on the Estrellas Poker Tour in January 2013. Although he is reluctant to describe himself as a professional poker player and still has a small holding in a scaffolding business, he says his days of manual labour are long over.
"The cards are easier to pick up than them 21s," he said, referring to a specific scaffolding tube.
This is Milne Snr's first EPT Main Event cash, and he admitted he has dared to dream of the big bucks. But one suspects both Milnes will be happy whatever the outcome, eyeing more reliable pleasures even than poker.
I'm a pretty solid player," Milne said. "Until I've got a few beers in me. I've only had three today, but can I nip into the bar right now?"
PokerStars Blog did not stand in that man's way.
Day 3 of EPT Vienna is under way. Click through to the main EPT Vienna page for all the action.