EPT11 Malta: Coffee housing

There's something you should know about Ike Haxton. He likes coffee. A lot. Shortly after play started today he played the main role in coordinating the ordering of a round of coffees for the players at his table in the €25,000 High Roller. Before they arrived two players had lost their chips. That's an expensive round of coffee for some involved.

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Haxton - full of beans

Perhaps the poker gods are also 'cappuccinophile's' as Haxton was soon rewarded for his caffeine based generosity with more beans chips. He raised the button and Mustapha Kanit elected to defend from the big blind. Although the J♠T♣K♦ flop would be one perceived to be in the wheelhouse of someone who'd defended their big blind, Haxton elected to bet the flop, he used two blue 5k chips but it was unclear if he'd bet the full 10,000 or just part of it.

There then followed a silence where Haxton fixed his stare on Kanit and whilst both players were perfectly still you knew it was the calm before the storm, a bit like when a snake is perfectly still but is preparing to pounce on its prey. Sure enough after 15-20 seconds passed Kanit moved his stack of 34,000 over the line and received the all-in triangle. Haxton took a look back at his cards and then made the call to put Kanit at risk.

Haxton: K♠Q♠
Kanit: K♥8♣

Kanit had kicker troubles, the J♦ turn meant there were some chop outs for Kanit but even though the T♥ river looked like one, it wasn't, and Kanit wished the table good luck as he left.

Whilst the table were still thirsting after caffeine Philipp Gruissem and Steve O'Dwyer became embroiled in a substantial pot. They'd reached the turn and there was around 26,000 in the middle. The board was 3♦8♦7♥T♥ and Gruissem had overbet the pot to the tune of 42,000 which was enough to set O'Dwyer all-in.

This was a battle between two high roller legends, Gruissem has six victories in events with a buy-in of £10,000 or more whilst O'Dwyer is the form man in these events with two Super High Roller victories in the past six months. It was no surprise given the gravitas of the situation that O'Dwyer took his time over the decision he was facing. "Come on Steve, give some back," joked Gruissem who was trying to talk the Irishman into doing whatever it was Gruissem wanted him to do. He then said something I didn't catch to Salman Behbehani, who was sat to the left of the German.

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Gruissem and Behbehani share a joke

Eventually though after he'd spent a few minutes thinking it through O'Dwyer shrugged and called off his stack. Gruissem rolled over A♦A♣ whilst O'Dwyer held T♣9♥ and had near 30% equity to stay in the tournament. The 2♦ was not one of his outs though and his chips went to Gruissem who moved upwards to 190,000.

"I knew he was calling about three or four minutes ago," joked Behbehani to Gruissem. "but you didn't even know if you wanted a call at not." What do you think, did Gruissem want a call there?

As O'Dwyer collected his belongings to leave the table his espresso arrived.

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The moment O'Dwyer called the all in

Follow all the action from the EPT Malta festival at PokerStars Blog. We have hand-by-hand action from the €25,000 High Roller in the panel at the top of the €25,000 High Roller page. Feature pieces are below. We also have a man on the IPT Malta stop. You can also download the EPT App, available on both Android or IOS.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour