EPT9 Sanremo: The unfinished story of Mr Bojang
In the middle of the pack right now is Ismael Bojang. It's a name that should be easy to remember, and yet not much is known about the German who is notching up his second cash of the EPT season.
Bojang though is unusual among the poker community being predominantly a live cash game player rather than an internet pro, although he admits to playing on PokerStars on Sundays. That said his tournament record is hardly short on results. He's earned nearly $400,000 in live tournaments since 2008 and this summer cashed four times at the World Series.
However, as the members of the German press acknowledge, with a raft of small cashes to his record he's still looking for that first big win. In Sanremo, with 16 players left on just two tables, he's on course for the biggest tournament result of his career if he can build on his stack of around 840,000 chips.
"I lost a few small pots with 20 big blinds and that hurt my stack a lot," he said. "I needed a double-up and got lucky enough to find pocket nines. The table has been pretty good. Nobody is making too much action but every time I try to steal the blinds or something they wake up with a hand. That's pretty frustrating."
The big event at the table however was the demise of former chip leader Inge Forsmo who went out in spectacular fashion while attempting an unlikely hero call.
"I heard he was a very loose player," said Bojang. "He played pretty tight today but (Bojang paused for bewilderment) he lost an unbelievable pot. I've never seen something like this before. "It didn't affect the game much because the guy who got all the chips was pretty much the only guy doing anything."
Forsmo had been unlucky to lose a big pot earlier in the day. Now he was calling for his tournament life with ace-high. But "that guy" was Jason Lavallee whose queens were good.
While Bojang plays on elsewhere Romanian Iulian Ruxandescu enjoys growing support from friends and countrymen online. He's reached the last two tables buoyed by their encouragement, although his stack is edging towards oblivion.
Still, watched by a large contingent in the theater here, Ruxandescu is looking to better his previous EPT best of 20th at EPT Snowfest in 2011. That was worth €9,000, easily eclipsed by the €27,000 he is guaranteed.
Keep an eye on the live tournament reporting from EPT Sanremo for all the news from the tournament floor.