EPT Copenhagen: National pride and a few records at stake...
Thor Hansen was a quick casualty as the blinds went up, pushing in with A-K against pocket jacks with neither an ace nor king arriving to bail him out.
He may look Scandinavian, with his shock of shaggy hair, but PokerStars qualifier Tommy Pavlicek hails from Edmonton Canada, a town far from a lot of places but not too far weather-wise from a Copenhagen February. If you followed reports on the PokerStars blog from Dortmund a few weeks ago you might remember Tommy as the young guy living in France, passing the time between EPTs snowboarding up and down the Alps. Tommy has the glasses for a college student look, but the large sparkly watch for a poker player look. He also has a stack of 62k - the ‘doing well’ poker player look.
At his table is Trond Eidsvig, quickly making a reputation for himself on the EPT and elsewhere following his Master Classics title last November (he also has the big watch). On a table of people wearing black Trond stands out in his red and white hooped hooded sweater and sparkles in places too thanks to a necklace and a few gold rings. Did I mention Trond is doing well these days? He looks in peak fitness too, unusual for people forced to sit for hours on end with little chance to stretch all day, or eat vegetables. His stack is up over the 50k mark.
Next to him is Sidsel Helle Boesen, one of the few remaining women in the tournament, in Onassis glasses and Joni Mitchell hair. The average stack right now is 38k and she has 25k. The blinds are beginning to pinch.
Feeling that pinch is Englishman Barny Boatman. He can hold his stack in one hand right now and has the extra pressure of being the last Englishman left on his shoulders. He might not know that of course and what matter is national pride when your own record is at stake. But it will soon be make or break time for the Hendon man.
And whilst last year’s Monte Carlo grand final winner Gavin Griffin may have become the first player to win the Triple Crown of WPT, EPT and WSOP titles a few weeks back, one player here today could potentially match Roland de Wolfe as one of that select band to win EPT and WPT titles.
Denmark’s Christian Grundtvig is slowly amassing a nice sized stack. Back in 2006 Christian won the WPT Paris at the Aviation Club on the Champs Elysees ahead of Jani Sointula and Thomas Wahlroos, picking up over €712,000. An avid stamp collector Christian is one of the lower profile players on the tour, known as a rock, with all the ability but little of that dangerous need to flash it. He’s on 60k and on course for a run on that record.
Players top for a fifteen minute break before blinds go up to 600/1,200 with a 100 ante. For chip counts click here.
All photos © Neil Stoddart