EPT11 Malta: (More) seats open in the high roller

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Jonathan Duhamel registers for the High Roller with Kate Badurek

Nobody really thought the number 40 posted on the high roller tournament clock this morning was going to be accurate. But then I suppose they had to start somewhere.

High roller events don't really contract on Day 1, they evolve. From an initial designation of tables they surge outwards as more players, preferring not to arrive for the starting bell, cough up the ten grand and take a seat. This, inevitably, keeps the floor staff on their toes and the number of entrants going up and up.

Right now the floor staff is represented by Kate Badurek, one of those reliable team members who started out as a dealer before graduating through the ranks to take charge in moments like this. Moments which involve managing a surge of new players, carrying headphones and man bags, looking for somewhere to sit.
It's a relatively straightforward job, but it involves pilfering players form other tables, at speed.

Simon Deadman was first. A tap on the shoulder, a rack for his chips, and a choice of seat cards, from which he chooses -- all done within about two and a half seconds. Before he knows it he's on his way to the other side of the room.

Zoltan Szabo then got the same treatment; Badurek was moving at speed now, smiling all the way, weaving between tables juggling chip racks and laminated cards -- her mind at least two players ahead of where the rest of her was.

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Sign up with Kate Badurek

Then Philipp Gruissem, still sporting that Douglas Fairbanks moustache, who is offered one of the remaining three cards.

"Okay guys, see you at the final table," he said, picking up his chips. "All of you."

So this new table now had him, Deadman, Szabo, and Fady Kamar, who reached the final table in this event a few weeks ago in Deauville. It's the latest new table in an event that could break a few tables. It will certainly not be the last.

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Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.