EPT12 Barcelona: How to deal with a player like Kassouf

Whatever else happens during Season 12 of the European Poker Tour, yesterday viewers of #EPTLive witnessed a hand that'll live long in the memory. Whilst many players in the UK were already aware of William Kassouf's qualities he took them to an international stage in a hand against Dong Kim. But, whilst (SPOILER ALERT) Kassouf might have cracked Kim's hand to survive, the real victim in the hand to many observers was the dealer, namely Ivano Panizza. If you haven't yet seen the hand you can watch it below and you'll see why that was the general consensus .





Whilst Kassouf more than had his say during the hand, no one has heard from Panizza so we decided to set the record straight and ask him what the hell was going through his head during the hand. "I was close to laughing but part of my job is to keep a poker face, I can't laugh during a hand, even if there is someone really funny close to me I need to be professional at all times. But as you saw yesterday at the end of the hand I couldn't as it was too funny."

Panizza has been dealing on the EPT for the past four seasons and has spent plenty of time pitching cards on the feature table and he says that's the first time anything like that has happened on the feature table to him. Reaction to Kassouf's antics have been mixed but the other man at the centre of the action is clear in his interpretation of what happened. "There was nothing to apologise for, it was funny and was good for the viewers, he wasn't impolite to me, I didn't take it that way," says Panizza.

In fact since the incident the 24-year-old has been getting more stick from the other dealers on the tour who're mimicking Kassouf's words whenever they see him, however whilst their versions may not be the best Panizza had no complaints when it comes to Kassouf's Italian. "I was impressed with his Italian accent, it was perfect!"

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Ivano Panizza

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Nick Wright
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour