EPT London: Pedantry, double-ups and bust outs

Poker is a game of margins, small details that can be the difference between thousands, perhaps millions, of bucks. And it pays to keep close attention to the most miniscule factors to ensure the inevitable variance is kept to an absolute minumum. In short, don't tempt the poker gods.

But it can too far, right?

Out on the table closest to the exit door, a hand finished and the dealer shuffled, preparing the deck for the next hand. He fired one card to the player in the small blind and then the second to Max Katz in the big blind. As it hit the chips on the table, it flipped over and everyone saw the 3s. And everyone stopped.

"Misdeal!" bellowed one player.
"No, that's just the burn card," insisted another. "You carry on and make that the burn."
"It's a misdeal if it's one of the first two cards out the deck. It's a misdeal."
"Come on, just carry on." (The other players, it's fair to assume, aren't bothered either way.)

"Floor!" came the next inevitable shout. "Ruling."

The tournament director was duly summoned from across the tournament floor, dodgemed his way through the tables, spectators, triangular tables of drinks and dinner, all to make what might be the most trivial ruling of his entire career. "Err," he said. "Use it as the burn card. No. Hold on. It's the second card out, right? Then it's a misdeal."

The dealer obliged, shuffled up, and on they went.


A few bullet points to keep you happy:

  • The Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari just all-but doubled up. Akkari made it 1800 to play pre-flop, he got one caller on the button, and they saw 6c-7d-2d. Akkari bet 3,000, called. The turn was the 4s and Akkari moved all in for 11,000. "Aah, that's a bluff," sighed the other player. "I know exactly what you have." And then he folded.
  • Other good news for the Brazilian contingent as Gualter Salles is up to 60,000. The former racing-car driver is a well-known face in Latin America and one of the stars on the LAPT.

    th_MG_5232_Neil Stoddart.jpg
    Gualter Salles

    He's also always up for a chat and a laugh, but as he told me his chip count moments ago, his game face was definitely on. He is in the zone like I have never seen him before.

  • Isabelle Mercier, on the same table as Akkari, is up to about 30,000 after doubling up with jacks all in pre-flop. She was up against A-K and flopped another jack.
  • Two huge stacks have appeared alongside the other established leaders: Philippe D'Auteuil with 85,000 and Huseyin Yilmaz with the same.
  • Joe Hachem, Danny Ryan and Thor Hansen are all out. Hachem's details are sketchy; Ryan's A-Q lost to A-K and Hansen's set of sixes were outdrawn.
  • We're approaching the final level of the day.
  • The remaining Team PokerStars Pros are Barry Greenstein, Marcin Horecki and the aforementioned Mercier and Akkari. It wasn't quite as successful today for Hevad Khan, but he caught up with our video blog team nonetheless:

    Watch EPT London 08 Day 1b; Hevad Khan Interview on PokerStars.tv

    Howard Swains
    @howardswains in Season 5