EPT11 Prague: A half-time view of the shove-fest

This is the 21st century and we are all multi-taskers. Within the past hour, for instance, I have found myself required to have a Skype conversation with somebody in another country, decide whether eating a hotdog now will ruin my dinner, watch football on my laptop and cover a poker tournament. I could put that list of demands in order of priority, but my employer might be reading so I won't.

Anyway, the point is that covering this poker tournament this afternoon is getting in the way of being complemented by other activities, and so it is important to get things done quickly. Fortunately, half-time in the football match approximately coincided with the first 15 minutes of level 18 of the EPT Prague main event, so I had a quick peek down on to the tournament floor to see if anything was going on.

There are times during poker tournaments when nothing happens. The reporter's equivalent of a player's card-dead run is a long aimless saunter around the tournament tables with no flop to be seen, much less a showdown. However, at other times, it can be frantic fare, with big pots being played out wherever one turns This latest trip to the tournament floor lasted all of about ten minutes, but the action was frantic and offered a clear answer to the question: "How can 90 per cent of a poker tournament field go broke within three days?"

Only a couple of paces inside the tournament room and Domenico Drammis open shoved his short stack. Raul van Box made what looked like a crying call, and tabled Q♣J♣. Dramas had A♥Q♦ and the bigger hand held. That was a double up.

Two more paces down the aisle in the tournament room and Andrey Zaichenko, the leader at the end of Day 1, moved his last 80,000-ish stack into the middle. Nobody called, so he pulled it back again.

On the next table along, however, Tatiana Barausova three-bet shoved after Philipp Teipel opened. Teipel called and flipped over J♣J♦, which put him racing against Barausova's K♥Q♠. The board ran K♣7♣2♥6♦9♠ and that was good for another double up.


Tatiana Barausova, pictured yesterday

It wasn't such good news for Gaelle Baumann, however, who three-bet shoved her dwindling stack after Roman Pavliuk opened. Pavliuk called with 8♣8♥ and was in the lead against Baumann's A♣7♠. It was looking bleak at the outset, and another eight on the turn put it beyond doubt. Baumann bounced.


The end of the road for Baumann

"All in and call!" came a shout from table 11. By the time I go there, it was over. Someone else was out. And then it all got pretty busy on Praz Bansi's table, where the British player was involved against Vladimir Schemelev

Bansi opened to 13,000 from under the gun and received two callers. Miltiadis Kyriakides and Schemelev, who was in the big blind. They all checked the flop of Q♣Q♥6♣ and then Schemelev bet 22,000 on the 4♦ turn. Bansi called, but Kyriakides folded.

The 5♣ came on the river and after Schemelev checked, Bansi pushed a chunk of blues over the line. To call would cost all of Schemelev's chips. He didn't call. He folded, living to fight another day.


Praz Bansi: Bully

Back on Tatiana Barausova's table, Philipp Teipel open shoved, and won blinds and antes only. And we were back on table Bansi soon after, where Kyriakides opened to 12,000. Remi Castaignon three-bet to 29,000 and Bansi, in the big blind, went deep into the tank.

Eventually, he folded, but Kyriakides called and they saw a flop of 5♥K♥5♣. Castaignon bet 22,000, which Kyriakides called, and that took them to a turn of 9♥. Kyriakides actually checked in the dark before that card arrived, which put the decision immediately on Castaignon. He checked it back to see a 7♣ river.

Kyriakides checked and Castaignon checked back again, a move that immediately drew a wince from Kyriakides. He flipped over 7♦7♠ for the rivered full house, and although Castaignon lost the hand, he turned over A♦K♣ with some pride, having shown admirable restraint.

Someone clearly hasn't sent to memo to that table, because they appear to be making shrewd folds and checks. The same doesn't quite apply elsewhere. We're down to 86 players already.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in Prague