EPT10 Prague: Some look different, others look the same
Thomas Mercier was reading a novel about a man's journey into politics as he sat down to play this afternoon. "I just started it," he said. I suggested it was a long way from this world but then couldn't decide if I'd meant the subject of politics or the actual physical act of reading a book.
How far he gets through it will be determined by how things go at the tables, but Mercier, increasingly a regular sight on the EPT, puts himself in that category of player who is becoming more and more of a regular, even if the results, so far, have not yet bent to his will.
"I'm an amateur poker player so from time to time when it's okay with my job I go and I play for a week," he said. "No results for the moment. I just come for fun. Maybe one time, we never know!"
There's something else striking about Mercier. See if you can spot it.
It certainly lends him a presence that few, with the possible exception of Mario Adinolfi, can match. Mercier, who manages a restaurant in Brussels and travels to EPTs when he can, scored his best EPT result here in Prague two years ago. So far so good this time round.
While Mercier looks unique, Luca Pagano looks far less so. The Italian Team PokerStars Pro is in danger of clashing with another player, not physically, but sartorially, which is far worse. Both he and Anatoly Filatov woke up this morning in the mood for burgundy. Not just one shade of burgundy but two shades.
The result is two almost identical outfits (obviously Pagano should have opted for that purple velour number he worse to the World Series several years ago). They sit not more than one table apart. Should there be any movement from one table to the other they may have to fight to the death.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.