FPS Monaco: Early calm disrupted by thunderously genius call

We're in scene-setting mode here at the France Poker Series Monaco Main Event, the highlight of this first full day of play for the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final series.

We pass through the cash game room on our way to where the tournaments will be playing out this week and next. It's a relatively docile place at present, with just a couple of tables presently full of players vying for pots. There will be many more soon, though, as the poker world continues to decend upon Monte Carlo.

Let's walk from there over to the tournament room and have a looksee...



The larger space is more populated and thus relatively more lively, although there, too, the mood is mostly reserved as most players cautiously manipulate their deep starting stacks. At present they're still moving through the second 45-minute level of the day. Players continue to file in as registration remains open through the start of Level 5. The big board is showing more than 200 have already taken seats.

Among the familiar faces making up the Day 1A crowd are a couple of veterans of the popular French television program La Maison Du Bluff. One is Abou Sy, a financial advisor from Switzerland who has made multiple appearances on the reality-poker show.

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Abou Sy

Another La Maison du Bluff star sits not far from Sy at a neighboring table, Christophe Ducrot, a former house painter who was a winner on the show. The Frenchman Ducrot is doing what he can to chip up here during the early portion of play today. He's helping to cut through the generally serene atmosphere with a bit of emotion as well.

Halfway through Level 2, Ducrot opened with a min-raise from the hijack seat, was three-bet by the cutoff, and both the big blind and Ducrot called.

The flop came Q♠T♣T♠, checking around to the original raiser who fired 1,000 (about half the pot). Only Ducrot called. The turn was the 3♦, and Ducrot check-called again, this time for 2,500.

The river brought the 8♠ another check from Ducrot. His opponent barreled again for 6,000, and after some thought Ducrot pushed out calling chips.

Ducrot's call meant his opponent had to table his handful of air -- 7♣5♦. Ducrot then turned over 2♣2♥ -- a once-humble, now-mighty pair of deuces good enough to earn the pot.

"Call de génie!" yelled Ducrot, his thunderous cry slicing through the otherwise soft hum to earn a lot of grins all around. He then took a short walk to settle himself before returning to his stack of nearly 35,000 -- now up from the 25,000 with which all began.

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Christophe Ducrot

FPS Monaco Main Event update:
- More than 200 have registered midway through Level 2
- Kevin MacPhee, Josh Prager, Roger Hairabedian, Simon Deadman, and Gabriel Nassif are among those seated (Deadman and Nassif at the same table)
- The tournament is scheduled to play twelve 45-minute levels today
- Registration is open until the start of Level 5
- There will be a 75-minute dinner break after Level 9

To get all the latest news, chip counts and payouts, don't forget to download the EPT App on both Android or IOS.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.