EPT10 Vienna: You are now entering the "Alex Kravchenko phase" of the Main Event
Two days ago we talked about that period towards the end of the first day, a relaxed time when the poison of choice moves from caffeine to alcohol and moods shift from tense to one of ease. So what to call this period, in which players fresh into the money, whittle themselves down from 100 to just 24. With this in mind we put together some suggestions. You may have your own.
Simple, accurate, but surely we could do a bit better.
Taking the above a little further, this is loosely translated from the Latin as "After the bubble, therefore because of the bubble," a period spent jostling for a better payday, freed though from the dread of busting empty-handed.
The "move along" hour
This refers to the need to keep spectators back, or moving along. With fewer players the spectators have less to see, giving the impression of there being more of them. Most keep a respectful distance, but some, including this week a man in a white tracksuit whose friend is about to win more money than he's ever had in his life, are regular infringers. Move along please sir.
The "who's that guy?" hour
As we reported in the round up of the day last night, quite a few of the leaders were unknown to the jobbing poker community. They were instead fresh faces eager to impress.
With fewer than 100 players there are still plenty of these players, leading to moments when you step back and think "that man has a lot of chips, and yet I've never seen him before in my life."
Actually, this has been known to seep into the eight to 27 player phase. Sometimes further.
"The Alex Kravchenko phase"
Aside from the fact that poker's most poker faced poker player ought to have some recognition, when the Team PokerStars Pro cashes (and this will be his fourteenth money finish on the EPT) he generally busts during this period. A total of nine times so far. He owns this statistic.
Are we now in the Alex Kravchenko phase of the tournament?
The "Hotel reservation extension" hour
For players on a budget it's about now when you have to consider your chances of running deep in the main event and consequently whether that warrants another night in your expensive hotel. This extends to flights also, although it's standard practice to book a flight that takes you home somewhere around the dinner break on day one so you can avoid tempting fate all the way to the final table. This has the added cost of being asked never to fly with EasyJet ever again.
The grey period
This might be more pragmatic as this is a period of waiting more than anything. There may be a few big names and former winners who get keyboards rattling but essentially we're running down the tournament clock towards the next landmark, in this case 24 players.
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Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.