EPT8 Campione: Fighting the postprandial dip
Eat food, play poker. This is a bad combination. After chowing down on a big dinner your body's blood glucose drops following the insulin secretion caused by your gut's reaction to the glucose in the food. That's the science, here's the result. You get lethargic.
Trying to play poker, let alone when the bubble is on the horizon of a €5,000 event, when your wits are weighed down by a heavy stomach is not a good idea. If you're looking for examples you need only wander onto the EPT Campione tournament floor. Misclicks, tight folds and gestational bad decisions are taking place all too frequently among these final 168 players. They can blame the buffet, a typically Italian affair loaded with carb-heavy pasta and cannelloni, and sugar boosting pastries and cakes.
While that's great for media row who can slump behind a laptop or doodle on a notebook while pretending to study the action it's not so great for the players that have indulged a little too much. Adrian Veghinas, for instance, accidentally min-raise an under-the-gun raise of 4,000 to 6,000 (but still somehow won the pot after it went four-way). Fabrizio Baldassari stacked off his last 60,000 after five-betting all-in with A♣Q♦ over the top of a 31,000 four-bet from David Vamplew. Baldassari has sat for some time wondering what to do after his 13,400 three-bet had been re-raised. Would he have still tipped it over the line into Vamplew A♥K♦ had he not just been to dinner? That's between Baldassari and his gut.
James Dempsey, on a break from a €2,000 side event, told us: "I look at how many levels are left before I eat, but you should eat light. I love the EPTs where they don't have a dinner break because you can go for dinner afterwards, eat more and have a drink."
So having eaten light when there is a break do you alter your play given that many other players might be feeling the post-dinner slump?
"It had never been a consideration until this minute. I'll have to think about that. Although at the Aviation Club (in Paris) they used to have these two hour dinners with free wine. You'd come back after the break, people would be hammered and you'd just play tight for a couple of hours," he reminisced.
The post-dinner collapse has been substantial with just 136 players going into the final level of the day. The fact that I managed to miss the pot that pumped EPT Tallin winner Ronny Kaiser's into the chip lead despite being just a yard away can be (partly) blamed on that second run to the buffet, but it did not cost me my tournament life. How many players could have avoided their bust out if they'd skipped their main course and made a beeline for the salad? Don't make the same mistake. Like a shampoo advert, you just can't argue with the science. Eat light, play strong.
Level 13: blinds 1,000-2,000, ante 300
Players: 136 of 570
Average stack: 126,000
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