EPT11 Prague: Removing the stigma from this Day 2 condition

It's almost like you shouldn't really talk about it. But then, like a lot of conditions, it's important that people are made aware. Only then can the stigma be removed, and the people involved be helped to lead ordinary, more fulfilling lives.

The condition is known as "Second Day Short Stack" and was first identified many years ago by lazy reporters looking for an easy story. But since then the condition has not got any better. The only way to deal with it is quickly and efficiently, and with your head held high.


There were several sufferers today, among them Igor Devkin, whose case was the worst we've seen in some time.

It was like watching a man checking his pockets for a missing house key, knowing that it was there somewhere but still easy to miss. In Devkin's case, he was patting his chip bag, wondering whether this--a stack of 4,800--was really all that was in there. It was, so he put on his best "to hell with it" face and acted immediately. He said nothing, expected nothing and got nothing. Within minutes his seat was empty and he was nowhere to be seen. But then, that was the type of man he was. He wouldn't have wanted any fuss.

Another short stack is Ondrej Vinklarek, who returned to a stack of 7,900. Vinklarek looked tired, as though he did his consolatory drinking last night to save time for side events today. It was a good decision. He was all-in and all-out sharpish.

In Jeff Madsen's case his bag had already been opened for him when he arrived and his chips, amounting to a small pile worth 8,500, appeared to be there accidentally, like droppings from some passing gull. But Madsen paid no attention to how many he had, just what he had to do with them, a test of character more than a last hurrah.

It's easy to think that a lack of chips is beneath the dignity of players like Madsen's, what with all the awards and bracelets won. But SDSS can affect anyone. There's no shame. But then, like say Irritable Bowel Syndrome, you don't really want to suffer from it yourself.

jeff_madsen_ept11pra_13dec14.jpgBattling bravely: Jeff Madsen

And so if he was going to deal with it, he would do so quickly. First he moved in with nine-deuce, at least that's what he swore he had as everyone folded. On the next hand though, he got action.

Behind a cut-off raise by Dylan Linde, Madsen shoved for 8,600. Marcin Rafal Wojcik called from the small blind for an all diamond flop, 8♦7♦2♦. Madsen waited, head leaning forward, earphones in. Linde then moved all-in for roughly 45,000. Wojcik agonised, rubbing his face with his hand, but then folded his two tens, leaving Madsen to his fate.

Two black kings for Linde, ace-four for Madsen, with no diamond to offer hope. So when nothing came on the turn or river he sought to leave as quickly as possible. There's no shame in a short stack perhaps, but nobody wants to hang around being stared at when their tournament comes to an end.

But Madsen would endure one last torture, the dealer insisting on the return of his ID card. For an awkward second or two Madsen was unsure what was expected of him. Then he realised, and taking the card in his hand whizzed it to the dealer like a Frisbee from ten feet away. His aim was good, he had that much going for him, and seconds later he was safely out of the tournament room.

Full coverage of the EPT Prague Poker Festival is on the main EPT Prague page.

Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.
Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in Prague