EPT8 Campione: Finesse works for some, beating hell out of it works for others


The first level of play marked the departure of one of the last of this week's over-achievers; Panagiotis Gavriulidis.

Gavriulidis was something of a tournament gorilla this week, approaching poker with the finesse of an cave man hammering a mammoth into shape. If his hand didn't fit a scenario he just beat the hell out of it until it did. Then, when this strategy proved successful, he beat the hell out of his friends who came to high five him from the rail; their wrists shattering. Gavriulidis, Kong-like, would beat the table and stroke his chest. Then he would stand up and fiddle with his balls.

Gorilla he may have been but his tournament life is no more. It's back to the cage for the Greek who was as entertaining as he was brutal, although Oliver Busquet may disagree. He bore the brunt of the brute's apparent lack of tactical sophistication yesterday.

Panagiotis Gavriulidis

After a long pause Busquet explained his position on high energy antics such as those performed by Gavriulidis.

"I think it would bother me more if I were watching," said Busquet. "I'm just trying to really zone in and focus on what I'm doing. If I let myself get distracted by that kind of thing I'm just asking for trouble.

"I can see how it might frustrate some players but at the same time look, it's part of what makes these tournaments good; fun times and good value; the kind of novice enthusiasm of players without the experience and without even the confidence that thy deserve or belong in this kind of spot. So there are flip sides to it."

Players like Gavriulidis are a common sight on the tour, particularly in Italy (although Gavriulidis being Greek demonstrates it's not always about the locals. It's partly down to exuberance, partly the element of overachieving; the sense of bewilderment that, four days in you haven't been eliminated.

It's a bewilderment shared by those watching too, but also one of the enjoyable elements of a game that's never easy to pin down and play perfectly.

Long may the EPTs overachievers, and the occasional gorilla, overachieve.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in Campione