EPT12 Barcelona: The cerveza level
"Ladies and gentleman the blinds are now 300/600 with a running ante of 75," boomed out over the PA system in the main tournament room. Not a significant announcement on its own but when put into the context of Day 1B it assumes more importance.
That missive signalled the start of the eighth and final level of the day and one player could be heard saying to his table. "It's the cerveza (beer) level." It's a tradition as old as cocktail hour, you've made the last level of the night, your work is almost done, so why wait to play is over to unwind? What not get a drink in now and start that process a little early.
It's definitely a common occurrence anywhere in the world except here in Barcelona. It appears as if a temporary prohibition law has been passed, which is localised to the card room. Whilst the waiters and waitresses who wheel the concessions cart around the room reserve a healthy piece of their real estate for the amber nectar they needn't bother. None of the 846 players who'd made the final level of the night appeared to agree that it was the cerveza level.
Even Niall Farrell, who can often be found partaking at the table, was abstaining. His drink holder contained just his mobile phone, nothing more, nothing less. If he'd had some Dutch courage it's possible the outcome of a hand between himself and Ryan McEathron might have been different. After a raise to 1,300, Farrell had three-bet to 3,500 only for McEathron to move all-in for right around 15,000. The original raiser folded and after Farrell had received a count of McEathron's shove he did likewise. "I'm probably meant to call there," he said before adding tongue in cheek. "I'm a feel player and I wasn't feeling it."
Meanwhile, across the room Tobias Fischer had something to celebrate - with water most likely - after making a big call to knock out Mikel Akiki in a strange hand. Fischer had bet 1,500 on a T♥A♠6♠ flop only for Akiki to move all-in for 22,650 total. It was most of Fischer's chips to call and after tanking for a couple of minutes and saying: "Why would you shove?" he did make the call. Akiki tapped the table before showing A♥2♥, Fischer had A♣T♣ and Akiki was drawing dead on the T♦ turn.
Save for the riffling of chips and the occasional conversation, it's eerily quiet right now.
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