EPT10 Barcelona: Music to watch girls by
Daniel Negreanu is learning Spanish. He announced this to his international table, at which are an Austrian, a Hungarian, an American, two Germans, a Dane and a Swede.
The Swede happens to be Sofia Lovgren, a young, attractive, photogenic pro who, as someone trying to make a name for herself in the male dominated world of high stakes poker, probably counted on an easier table that the one she's on now. At least, it's hard to tell if she likes having Negreanu two to her right, or not.
Negreanu (left) with Sofia Lovgren. Nobody's calling anyone a gooseberry
Few players can both hold court and serve as the court jester like Negreanu. Kid Poker, who gets his own dedicated camera team camped out at the end of his table to capture everything he does, is enjoying the limelight. And it is limelight - his table being the only one lit up by an almost angelic glow - actually, a soft box slung over his table.
It's Negreanu's natural environment. The Team PokerStars Pro is on record as saying this approach, one of fun and frolics, makes the game more enjoyable. He'll talk to anyone about anything, all while reading your mind and winning chips. If he can't read your mind he'll simply ask you to say what's on it. This applies to Lovgren, who became his center of attention almost from the start of play.
Negreanu in action
But Negreanu is keen to show off a few words in the languages he knows, and pick up a few more, ultimately teaching Lovgren to say "what does the fish want here?" in Romanian. He speaks it. She imitates it. She nails it. Negreanu laughs.
(We should inject a word of caution to anyone trying this approach with the opposite sex. Negreanu is an internationally recognised poker player, and a celebrity beyond the poker world. It's easy for him to get the attention of the women in the room, even if they just politely laugh at his jokes. At least one player at the table needs to learn this lesson.)
Soon enough Negreanu had Lovgren talking music (yes to House and R&B, no to Country), passing over his iPod so that she could listen to a track whose lyrics he sang - the type that, in my day, would have prompted Dad to throw the cassette from my bedroom window.
All smiles: Sofia Lovgren
Whether she liked it or not (she was prepared to admit that she knew it), she bopped her head up and down to the music. Negreanu bopped too, without needing to actually hear the music - a man enjoying his day at the table. Earlier I had my doubts, but now Lovgren seems to be enjoying it too.
Click through to live coverage of the EPT Barcelona Main Event. Check out all the festival results here or take a look at what happened in the EPT Barcelona Super High Roller. Follow the @PokerStarsBlog Twitter account to keep up-to-date with all the EPT action and check out the EPTLive webcast.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.