EPT Copenhagen: Clinging on for 40th place

Fans, families, freaks, the lost looking for the PokerStars hospitality suite, casual observers, press, the wannabes, the eliminated, and those still playing. For a short time tonight everyone in Copenhagen was standing inside the rail to watch who would go out on the bubble empty handed and who would be left to pick up a cheque.

With the rope line redundant and spectators literally leaning on the shoulders of players, a rare situation occurred – during hand-for-hand play there were three all-ins at once, one coming after the other with dealers under strict orders to hold off on the showdowns which did little more than allow more time for people to get as close to the action as possible.


Players not involved in the hands, including Jan Sorensen, watch on...

A few minutes before an all-in had been a false alarm. J-9 of diamonds had beaten pocket tens with a jack first card on the board. But then the floodgates opened and from going at the pedestrian crawl of hand-for-hand we suddenly had a pile up.

As one was announced another followed. The important thing to note here is the chip count. Should two players go out on the same hand the lesser stack is deemed to have gone out first – all important when money is involved. And lowest of all was Italian Gino ‘El Diablo’ Alacqua.


Gino Alacqua awaits his fate

Gino, who finished runner-up in Prague, is a cheerful guy, polite and always neatly dressed, but his English is limited. Trying to work out the protocol in this situation caused some confused leading Thomas Kremser to hold his hand out over the table – Gino was all in, but two players were yet to act – both of whom had checked it to the river. They were then forced to wait in the curious limbo where the other hand on the other table had to be played.

In that time the three players began conferring. Gino had the king, beating the others. Gino allowed himself a grin as his pals called out for ‘El Diablo’!

That left the other hand, but that was messed up by a third all in on the far table. Claus Tversted faced the axe here – the young Dane having got this far despite starting the day on a little over 10k. The luxury of being able to watch was not lost on the rest of the field who started to move about looking for a better view. Runar Runnarson’s head peeked over some shoulders whilst he ate fruit and Gino Alacqua went walkabout to see who it would be filling the shoes neatly shined for him just a few moments before. Now just five minutes remained on the clock.

The far table dealt the hand which saw German Haward Speer eliminated, but his stack was bigger and if Tversted went out it would leave Speer the consolation of 40th place.


Bubble boy Claus Tversted

Tversted seemed destined to be the bubble player. He held A-K but his caller had Q-J of hearts. A heart hit the flop, another hit the turn. No need for the flush though with a queen on the river. Handshakes for him but his were miseries drowned out by the applause for everyone else. They had made the money. 39 players left with two minutes two seconds left on the day.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in EPT Copenhagen