EPT12 Prague: Ori Miller staring elimination in the face
Ori Miller has one of those faces. It's his normal face, let's be clear on that, but it's one that crops up more and more around the EPT, cashing in side events (eight so far, with two wins) while yet to break through in the Main. It's a face that this week has been a happy one, which is what an ever increasing stack will do to your demeanour. And up until a short while ago that story looked set to continue.
Before we get to that, let's look at the bright side.
Miller is now guaranteed the best EPT finish of his career, beating his previous best of earlier this year in EPT11 Malta. Then he got as far as 42nd place before busting, beating his previous best of 49th in Barcelona all the way back in Season 7. With 29 players left in the field in Prague this is technically a good day for Miller.
But now the bad news.
It was made worse for looking so good. Miller had found aces. What's more he'd found himself up against a six-bet shove from Austrian Benjamin Lamprecht. Miller wasted no time in calling, watching Lamprecht turn over queens. With the pot worth more than 2.7 million Miller was looking at an enormous lead, one that would practically guarantee him safe passage into the penultimate day, then who knows what.
Then we all saw the queen.
Miller's was no longer his normal face. One card changed that. He muttered a few things, but largely kept quiet. While Lamprecht's eyebrows seemed to disappear over the top of his head Miller's face spoke only of quiet devastation. The story could have been so different, but now he was facing the almost impossible task of rebuilding a shattered stack.
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This was supposed to be a good day for Miller, and it may yet end that way. The previous best result of any Israeli player on the EPT came right here in Prague back in Season 6. That's when Eyal Avitan finished second to Jan Skampa. To beat that Miller would have to win here, which half an hour ago seemed a distinct possibility.
But right now he's at the opposite end of the chip count list. No thoughts of victory for now, just survival.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.