EPT11 Deauville: Life at both ends of the karmic stick

When you see a player having the time of his life in a poker tournament, it tends to mean there's some other guy somewhere living a nightmare. When Kevin MacPhee bagged up the chip lead last night it didn't take much looking to see who had been burdened with the short end of the general karmic order. His name was Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier.

MacPhee is an accomplished player, and sooner or later we're going to have to dust off the two-time winner discussions again, as well as reminding people that he nearly did that at EPT London a few months ago. But for now let's just stick to his day yesterday, which for most of the time looked a lot different to that another EPT winner, ElkY.

elky_ept11deau_5feb15.jpgOut but not down: Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier

MacPhee started the day losing with pocket jacks, then won with the same hand. He then made a straight flush, knocked out Patryk Slusarek with kings, and then Martin Czuczor with a runner-runner flush in the very next hand. And while all of this sounds easy, it's to MacPhee's credit that he got paid each time when the cards went his way.

Kevin_MacPhee_ept11deau_d4_5feb15.jpgTaking any punches well: Kevin MacPhee

ElkY meanwhile spent most of the day shaking his head. He also started with jacks, but soon he would be struggling, watching his stack that once stood at 100 big blinds, slimmed drastically to around a quarter of that size. Despite heroic attempts to the contrary, he never really recovered.

That said he remained positive.

But Joseph El khourY would be the Team Pro's nemesis, winning hands against the Frenchman yesterday and then putting him out of tournament today. The dream of a second title at an end.

Meanwhile MacPhee's performance continues at pace and the American continues his habit of recovering quickly from setbacks.

He knocked someone out at the start but in another hand was stopped in his tracks by a rivered straight. That cost him half a million chips. But MacPhee has a knack for curing these temporary conditions.

So as ElkY makes his way to the rail (to be consoled perhaps in the arms of the High Roller event), MacPhee plays on. And yes, maybe now it's time to remind everyone that this is proving to be quite a season for the former EPT Berlin winner. He's under no illusions.

"A second title definitely means a lot," he told the TV people before play started. "I'm going to try to make the right decisions and let the results speak for themselves."

Coverage from the Main Event of EPT Deauville is on the Main Event page. Check out all the action from around the festival on the main festival page. Also follow the action on EPT Live and stay up to date with the sensational EPT app for iPhone, iPad or Android.

Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.