EPT12 Malta: Does a good start really matter?

Would you flip for your tournament life on the first hand of a tournament? It's a question that's been posed in many forms, with many caveats. The most common version is that it's the first hand of the WSOP Main Event and the small blind moves in with ace-king suited and you've got pocket queens. Your opponent thinks you've folded so shows his cards and now you know exactly what you're up against.

If we say that in the above scenario that your queens are of different suits to the opponent's ace-king then you're looking at a 53.59% chance to win the hand with another 0.39% chance of a tie whilst you'll be out before you've even got your feet under the table 46.02%. So what would you do?

There are valid arguments for both sides, do you think your edge in the tournament is bigger than in this hand. Is having a bigger stack worth more than the edge in this one hand. How often do you actually double your stack in a tournament and so on. We may not be able to answer that question conclusively but it's bought to mind because of Niall Farrell's run in this tournament.

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Farrell built a stack early and kept building

Whilst Farrell didn't double up on the first hand of the tournament he did, as we reported, get off to a great start. By the time four levels were completed he'd more than doubled his starting stack.

That solid start laid the foundations for this deep run and whilst we saw yesterday on the live stream that a bit of luck - ok a lot of luck - along the way helps it's no shock to learn that a big stack in the right hands early on during a tournament is a big weapon. Luck and skill, it's a potent combination and one that may well carry Farrell to victory here in Malta.


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The final table at EPT Malta

You can watch #EPTLive coverage here, whilst everything about EPT Malta is on the main EPT Malta page. More specifically, all the side event coverage can be found here and the High Roller coverage is right here.

Begin plotting your own bid for EPT glory by downloading the PokerStars client and having a crack. Follow this EPT event via the EPT app. There you will get all the latest news, chip counts and payouts. You can download it on Android or IOS


Nick Wright
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour