EPT Monte Carlo: A scout around the tables

“I just won my first coin-flip in this tournament against a Scandinavian. I’m one-for-four now!”

This is Woody Deck, experiencing what for many poker players is a truly significant moment in their day. Things have moved fast today, with just over 150 players remaining, but we play on until 13 levels have been completed according to tournament staff.

The really frightening table right now is that of 2005 WSOP Champ Joe Hachem. The Team PokerStars Pro is just one headliner on a nightmare table that features big Dutchman Ed de Haas, Anna Wroblowski, Vincent Secher, Surinder Sunar and a new arrival Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano. Hachem and Pagano have colossal stacks and whilst Wrobloswki and Sunar don’t have half of what they have it’s only Ed de Haas facing the axe, moving in again on a board of 8-9-T.

Vincent Secher is the only player left in the hand and folds, showing K-J.

“I had the same hand!” laughs Joe before pleading with the dealer. “Show us the turn card! One time!” No favours from the dealer though.


Joe Hachem -- © Neil Stoddart

American Danny Ryan, a perpetual PokerStars qualifier of the elite kind, started the day with 63K.”Did you hear what happened?” he asked and I said yes, not wanting him to have to re-live it again.

Things were looking rosey for the Montana man until a run in with aces and queen-jack. It had been a simple raise, re-raise, all-in call situation with Danny calling with rockets with a board reading K-T-x. His opponent hit his six-outer, crippling Danny.

Down to 14K it looked like a drastic end to a great season for the American, a man who even in the worst of poker times has a smile on his face. But it’s not over yet. A pot here, a little more there and Danny is back up to 39K, not among the leaders yet but the door seems a little further away.

In among the fashionable internet players sits Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Rahme. A relative old man of the game Raymond plays great poker without the flash that some players engage in, like the guy who just doubled up with kings against queens, bolting out of his chair to hug a friend. Raymond sits with a stack of over 100K and his glasses case open in front of him - on if he’s in a hand, off if he's not.

“I doubled up earlier with a set of threes but I had to wait a while for that hand. I was up to 130K but then down again. I’ve got about 112K now.”


Raymond Rahme -- © Neil Stoddart

Those chips came from Cyril Bensousssan, the half brother of EPT San Remo runner-up Anthony Lellouche, who happens to be watching from the rail.

“Go easy on my horse!”

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in EPT Monte Carlo