EPT12 Malta: The case of the vanishing chip-leader


Florence Allera's empty chair

It is Halloween in Malta, as it is across the world, and we can kick right off today with some dastardly intrigue.

Florence Allera, the 2014 France Female Player of the Year, enjoyed a sensational run last night in the €200 no limit hold 'em event, which concluded for the day at 1.30am with Allera sitting on an enormous chip-lead.

The lead was so large--she had 1.103 million chips while her closest challenger had 334,000--that we originally thought it may have been a typo. But it wasn't: Allera simply smashed all comers and built her stack beyond all possible expectations. (For context, they re-started today in Level 16, with blinds of 5,000-10,000. Allera therefore had a 110 big blind stack.)

However although Allera's stack made it back to the tables to begin Day 2 today, there was no sign of its shepherd. Allera herself had vanished, leaving the tournament absent of its dominant force.

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Tournament organisers have made repeated calls to Allera's phone in an attempt to track her down, with the first concern, of course, for her safety. But it also now appears, according to conversation on the tournament floor, that she did indeed return to the casino today, alive and well, but then disappeared back to the hotel.

The strong rumour is that Allera celebrated the arrival of Halloween, and her mighty stack, by partaking of something approaching a cauldron's fill of witches brew at the tables last night. She may be feeling something wicked in the head this morning.

She has seemingly made a pretty accurate calculation that her stack is so big that it may be better off without her in control. So far, it has navigated through the bubble all right and now into the final eight and she is still in the top two in the counts.

She has only lost 200,000 in blinds so far, even as 12 players have departed. Tournament officials estimate that she could have an average stack five or six handed, depending on how the other players play it out.

I must add that this is simply what is being said on the tournament floor. We haven't heard from Allera herself and naturally hope and assume she is OK. A couple of people are even speculating that she might have had a flight home and is now winging her way back to France allowing her chips to do the work.

Ronny Vik has moved his stack beyond the 1 million mark now and has assumed the overall chip lead. The winner gets €8,080.

Everything about EPT Malta is on the main EPT Malta page. More specifically, all the hand-by-hand coverage of the Main Event is on the Main Event page and everything from the €10,000 High Roller is on the High Roller page.

The side event details are on the side events 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