EPT12 Malta: Salloum's vanishing trick, and Margets' expletive-strewn departure

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Leo Margets and Fatima Moreira de Melo, pictured in Marbella

It's a profoundly bitter experience to bubble a major poker tournament, particularly after more than two days' work. And so few people could blame Charbel Salloum for scooting out the door the minute he learned he had been eliminated during hand-for-hand play on the €2,000 IPT High Roller bubble.

The dealer at Salloum's table tried to get him to stay, but for whatever reason Salloum wasn't interested. Off he went. However, the dealer wasn't intending to cast him into some absurdist administrative nightmare, as he possibly feared. Rather the dealer wanted to let Salloum know that another player, Filippo Lazzaretto, was also all in on another table and he too was facing elimination.

Salloum was due half of the payout for 56th place, but wasn't anywhere to be seen.

All of this information was relayed second hand by one of the tournament officials (PokerStars Blog was regrettably not in attendance). It was a truncated conversation, however, because the tournament official had to scurry away and join the search for Salloum.

"The other guy [meaning Lazzaretto] was asking whether he was going to get all of it," the official said. "But the first guy [meaning Salloum] has to get it. That's the rules."

Soon enough, Salloum was located. Mercifully, he had not opted to throw himself into the sea after his painful elimination, nor had he scooted all the way to the airport and back to Lebanon. He was eventually dragged kicking and screaming (metaphorically) back to the cash table where he was given €1,918 for finishing in what was deemed officially to be 56th place, while Lazzaretto got €1,917 for 55th.

That left the remaining players in the money. It was a gathering that included the esteemed likes of Steve O'Dwyer, Yann Dion, Michael Tureniec and Leo Margets.


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The latter was a short stack and so, as the first break of the day approached, things were a little anxious. Margets' Red Spade friend and colleague, Fatima Moreira de Melo, had popped by to rail the Team PokerStars Pro, but Moreira de Melo had become distracted by a conversation with Jorryt van Hoof.

Unbeknownst to Moreira de Melo, Margets was in the process of moving all in. Jesper Feddersen, with a stack of similar size, pondered the call and then decided to make it, tabling A♠T♦. Margets flipped 7♥7♦.

"You need to be calling for a seven," Margets said, interrupting the two Dutch pros' conversation.
"Oh f---," Moreira de Melo said, immediately fulfilling every expectation the world has of the potty-mouthed pro.

But Moreira de Melo had accurately summed up the mood, especially after a T♠ appeared on the flop. The board then ran K♦K♠6♣K♣ and at least Margets was able to say that she lost boat under boat.

Away the rest of the field went for a break. There are fewer than 40 left now, and no Red Spades among them.

Everything about EPT Malta is on the main EPT Malta page. More specifically, all the hand-by-hand coverage of the €25,000 High Roller is on the €25,000 High Roller page and everything from the IPT Main Event is on the IPT Main Event page.

No really, 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

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour