EPT11 Deauville: Darcourt holds court as he returns with lead
The EPT Deauville festival is now up to full speed. If a player is in town they're playing something rather than waiting. The town bulges with the onset of poker, leaving those here for other reasons to look around and wonder what sort of world they've woken up in.
The proof was evident in the hotel this morning, as one couple in the late fifties discovered. They'd brought newspapers and reading glasses to the breakfast room, he in a turtle neck, she looking refined in pearls, and both had sweaters to ward off the chill that came with the dusting of snow that fell overnight.
They could only watch as around them dozens of men, in hotel slippers and track pants, swooped past them to bag the last of the brioche. Waiting staff could do little else but stand back, topping up the Coco-Pops only when a space allowed. The atmosphere was frenetic, but the mood good. For there was action to be had this day, and a good breakfast was essential.
Those same players are now in their seats, including the chip leader coming into the day Guillaume Darcourt.
He arrived this morning looking refreshed and confident - his walk said as much -- stopping along the way to share a joke with some of the tournament staff, and other players who stopped him to wish him well.
He arrived at seat eight at his table and shook hands with Frederic Brunet in seat six. Then he sat down and unpacked his things; a large phone, on which he selected some music, and his sunglasses, which he polished ready for the day. Then he took out one last thing, a piece of paper on which was scribbled in felt tip the names of those at his table. He'd also added the size of their stack, and any achievements.
These were few. Nothing against Julian Brecard's name in seat one, nor that of Govert Metaal in seat five. But the words "WPT champion" were noted towards the bottom. Was this a reminder to himself, in seat 8, that he was a WPT Champion? a form of positive reinforcement perhaps ahead of an important day?
No, this came after Matas Cimbolas, who won WPT Nottingham in November last year, a Lithuanian who could cause the Frenchman a few problems, although he had position on him to his left, and was still smiling broadly as card were dealt.
The festival now ramps up to maximum excitement in the tournament room, leaving that couple back at the hotel in peace.
Coverage from the Main Event of EPT Deauville is on the Main Event page. Check out all the action from around the festival on the main festival page. Also follow the action on EPT Live and stay up to date with the sensational EPT app for iPhone, iPad or Android.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.