EPT8 Campione: Busquet shrugging off the swings on way to first final
Olivier Busquet finished among the leaders last night, but not without having to endure some rough patches that could have eliminated a lesser player.
In the break before the last level last night, or what was believed to be the last level until it was announced that it wasn't, Busquet talked through hands he'd lost against a relatively inexperienced table of opponents. The American was the stand out player, but somehow wasn't winning hands.
"I'm playing a few more hands than most players probably," he said. "I lost a big pot with AQ to AK which was maybe semi-debatable but he (Panagiotis Gavriulidis) just struck me as the type of player that wasn't necessary three-bet bluffing but still capable of three-bet folding. So I thought with the fold equity and the strength of my hand I thought it was a fair decision."
The king hit to help Gavriulidis, who celebrated by physically assaulting a friend on the rail (more on that later), behaviour that Busquet, a regular high roller, shows amazing capacity to shrug off.
"Then a player that I think is maybe a little bit less experienced than most of the players here, raised and I called," said Busquet with diplomatic flair. "I had ace-jack and had just made a move on him, literally the hand before. That (flop) came ace-ten with two hearts and he bet and I had ace-jack. He had the perfect stack for me to commit to... he ended up having ace-ten, so I lost that.
"I made a semi liberal call of a three bet in position with ace-jack of diamonds," he added. "I flopped the flush draw and just felt that my opponent was probably pretty strong and I didn't have a lot of fold equity so I decided to just call on the fop. He gave me a free card on the turn, which was much appreciated, but I did not hit. He told me he had two kings and I've no reason to doubt him."
Busquet though refused to let this negative swing affect him mentally, visibly zoned in as he played, some headphones in, eyes front. As he spoke he had around 540,000, a total he moved up to nearly a million by the close two levels later, a far cry from the short stack he'd had to nurse two weeks ago in Madrid.
"I do sometimes have a tendency to get a little overly creative with a lot of chips, so sometimes it's almost better for me to be hand-cuffed as it were," he said. "But obviously I'm happy to have more chips. My table is good, I have a very good player to my left (Per Linde) but we've been staying out of each other's way. Hopefully I can make some hands and chip up."
Chip up he did, and provided he handles today's rough patches with the same élan should be on the brink of his first EPT final table.