EPT11 Malta: What do high rollers do when there's an all in?
Editor's note: this hand took place during level eight when blinds were 500/1,000 100 ante
A big pot was brewing between two of the German wunderkinds. A chunky 29,000 was already in the middle and there was a complete board of K♥4♣A♠5♠9♣ on the table. Action was on Martin Finger, one of only two players to have won a EPT Main Event and EPT Super High Roller (Steve O'Dwyer is the other) and the German put out a bet of 13,200.
Finger was the big blind in this hand and he was facing off against high roller specialist Philipp Gruissem. The man known as 'Philbort' then moved all-in for 48,500 and the first thing Finger wanted was a count of the shove. When that arrived he continued to juggle chips in his hand and thought through his decision.
At this point then for the other players at the table there was a potential gold mine of information to be gleaned from their opponents should their cards eventually be revealed. Finger was agonising over a decision and Gruissem had his second tournament life of the day on the line. The former was definitely fishing for information as he said: "You are the one who always fires many bullets right?" alluding to the fact that Gruissem often re-enters more than once in high rollers, four times in the £50,000 Super High Roller at EPT10 London that Finger won for instance. There was no reaction from Gruissem, but a smile from Finger and Vanessa Selbst who was intently looking at Finger for information.
The Team PokerStars Pro was the only one who seemed to be paying any attention to the active players in the pot though, perhaps trying to get a read from them that she could use in a future pot. Elsewhere Dani Stern and Ike Haxton were preoccupied with their phones, with what I know not. Stephen Chidwick was leaning back and stretching, with his arms pushed upwards high above his head, whilst Paul Klann was instructing the masseuse to 'work a bit more on his shoulders.'
There's no doubt that collection of poker talent know a lot more than the PokerStars Blog do, and perhaps their lack of attention at this juncture was because they knew what was coming next and they could save some much needed mental energy.
Indeed after a few minutes in the tank Finger released his hand and Selbst turned to Gruissem and asked: "Show one, it's going to match the board," but Gruissem's not the showing kind and he pushed his cards face down towards the dealer.
With a new hand about to be dealt the players who hadn't already done so turned their attention back to cards and play continued. But, the next time you hear a high roller tell you to pay attention to everything that happens at the table take a good look at them to get a read as they're bluffing.
Follow all the action from the EPT Malta festival at PokerStars Blog. We have hand-by-hand action from the €25,000 High Roller in the panel at the top of the €25,000 High Roller page. Feature pieces are below. We also have a man on the IPT Malta stop. You can also download the EPT App, available on both Android or IOS.