EPT Monte Carlo: The gravitational pull of table 22

“I have about 22k... I’m grinding...”

This is Victor Ramdin, chewing gum, arms folded behind his back, his legs bouncing under the table in a way that makes the rest of him jig from side to side. He sips some water, gets a new hand, there’s a bet from the seat nine player and Victor calls.

The flop is 6dJs8d which both players check. The turn is a 9s followed swiftly by an 800 bet from Victor, enough to chase the opposition away. This is Victor grinding...

A few tables away what would ordinary be the first choice feature table has formed. Entirely by accident, be it tables breaking or others moving, these players have orbited this one table from all corners of the room and are now sitting face to face.

It featured Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu and Chad Brown from the start but now has the addition of Frenchmen Fabrice Soulier and Paul Testud, as well as Sweden’s mighty William Thorson, who made the final table in PokerStars.com EPT San Remo last week.

In seat one is Canadian player Benoit Gariepy, distinguished in this stellar crowd by the six-inch high Gene Simmons figurine, in full 70s KISS make-up and regalia, which straddles his stack, arms poised to hold a guitar that isn’t there. The player in seat nine is in the middle of an intense massage, hoping to have these new concerns pummelled away.

This is the only table in the room strong enough to draw railbirds away from table Becker alongside but having said that there’s not much going on. Thorson wins a hand that doesn’t get past the turn; a couple of other hands go the same way.

Daniel passes the time trying out a few new Scandinavian words, which a picky press man says sound more like Finnish.

20080413-_MG_8671.jpg

Daniel Negreanu -- © Neil Stoddart

Thorson takes another pot as everyone watches on, a slow trawl to the river with his bets called by Gariepy, until a showdown where the Swede shows K-T for two pair against the Canadian’s pocket queens.

But if you wait long enough something will always happen; core to the belief system of those perching over the table looking for action.

Chad Brown raised pre-flop to 400, finding three callers in for a flop, among them Daniel Negreanu and Thorson once more. They all check the J-9-6 flop before a six on the turn. A bet of 800 is enough to make Chad Brown bug out, for Thorson too. Daniel meanwhile throws in a re-raise to 2k. A short while to think and then the call.

A king on the river and it’s Daniel now watching a bet of 1,700 come at him. He calls, is shown K-T for a pair, but tables his own 8-6 for a set, and the pot.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in EPT Monte Carlo