EPT8 Campione: Walking on eggshells with Victor Ramdin

ept-thumb-promo.jpgPreparation is a key element for continued success. Athletes must stretch, poker players must practice, all must eat. I may have been breaking some kind of poker etiquette by doing so, confronting Victor Ramdin at his starting table, but it had to be broached.

At breakfast this morning, Victor, did you have boiled eggs?

The Team PokerStars Pro, perhaps unsurprisingly, looked a little taken aback: "Errrm, no I did not have eggs."

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Victor Ramdin

Ramdin is staying at the same hotel as the PokerStars Blog, where we all have a complimentary European style breakfast; cereals, yoghurts, cheese, cold cuts of meat and a do-it-yourself six-way egg boiler. My eggs (two, large) had been put in the red and white handled egg holders, my iPhone alarm set for four minutes. A coffee and toast collection later I returned to find my eggs had gone. They had been snatched, pilfered, stolen. Ramdin was quickly walking away, his back obscuring my view from the offending articles. He scurried to the far side of the breakfast room, just behind a tall pot plant, no doubt chosen to hide his shame.

So are you sure, Victor? I'm pretty sure that I saw you walking away with my eggs this morning.

Ramdin was quicker to rebuff the accusation the second time around.

"It wasn't me. It was Casey," he said chuckling.

Casey Kastle, eh? He had been at breakfast, but had the quick thinking Ramdin chosen Kastle knowing full well that the erstwhile king of cashing had played and busted Day 1B? That's the problem with these poker players, they're just too good at lying and misdirection. For the moment we'll give him the benefit of the doubt, if not for any other reason than he's such a pleasure to watch at the table.

Ramdin has been a regular on the American poker circuit for more than ten years with only one in the past nine where he has broken the six-figure dollar mark, taking his total live winnings up to $3,599,832. The established businessman and philanthropist (and Team PokerStars Pro, no less) has now turned his attentions to this side of the Atlantic, scoring $156,350 in EPT cashes, more than three times that of his previous combined career winnings over here. Three EPT main event finishes last year, including a 22nd place finish at the EPT Grand Final for €40,000, have proven to Ramdin that perhaps this continent deserves more attention.

"I've been enjoying Europe. I've been travelling here frequently for the last two years now. I like the fields much better, I think I can handle them better than the US. They're a lot more fun here, the people are nice and it's really, really beautiful. That sums it up for me. Bigger fields, smaller buy-ins, they tend to be $10,000 in the US. It's smart from you guys. I think you'll be seeing more of me," said Ramdin.

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"Chuck us an egg!"

Ramdin plays what you could call an expansive games, one which involves plenty of raises, flops and speech play leading to some huge call downs and massive passes. Although we've seen a number of successful hero calls, his EPT standout hand has to be from last season's EPT Grand Final when he passed Kings pre-flop.

Eventual winner Ivan Freitez had opened for 26,000 under-the-gun, a three-bet to 49,000 had come in, also from early position, before Ramdin cold four-bet to 100,000. Freitez moved all-in for 1,000,000 and Ramdin tanked before passing kings face-up. Freitez showed pocket queens. It's was a monumental turning point of the entire tournament.

"Do you have to remind me of that hand? That was pretty sick. It was probably the first time of my life that I laid down kings pre-flop. It was a situation. I was wrong but I promise that I'm not going to lay them back down ever again."

Well, Europe, you have been warned. Representing aces to Ramdin just won't work. Just keep an eye on your eggs.

Tournament snapshot
Level 2: 50-100
Players: tbc, in excess of 350
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Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in Campione