Eureka3 Prague, Day 1A: The anatomy of an all-in
Poker pundits and purists will argue forever more over whether poker is a spectator sport, whether live televised poker is better with cards up or cards down and how best to play ace-king.
What's undeniable though, is that poker is often at its most exciting when there's an all-in, spectators finally get to see all the information laid bare and the fate of the players tournament rests with a power that has no memory. The cards. A player might have played perfectly to trap their opponent but the cards care not. They can deliver a crushing blow or a sudden upturn. There's hundreds of all-ins every tournament, although no two are alike they do fall into broad groups and I witnessed three such all-ins in a matter of minutes.
The...pre-flop cooler: Antoine Tohme snap called all-in for his final 14,000 and proudly turned over K♣K♠. A good hand, but Silvio Panoscha had A♥A♣. The 8♦4♠7♣6♦J♥ board eliminated Tohme. A quick tap of the table and Tohme was gone.
The...I need a count please Often, quite rightly, a player will need to get count of the all-in before deciding on their action. In this instance Peter Ivancik, who had previously been chip leader, made a big three-bet jam and Antonin Felfel, who had him covered, got a count. He'd only put in 5,100 and Ivancik had moved all-in for just over 46,000. Eventually he called.
There then followed a Mexican stand off where, despite both players being all-in neither wanted to show. Eventually Ivancik showed A♠Q♠ and Felfel Q♣Q♥. The J♥5♠4♦4♣5♦ board eliminated Ivancik and he headed to the rail. "Huge pot," said Peter Barrable.
The...I want to let everyone in the room know I doubled up I confess my Russian is not very good so I don't know exactly what Dmitrii Senitsyn said when he doubled up to 50,000. But, despite being on the other side of the room I definitely heard him! He'd evidently doubled up, I know not how, but he wanted to let everyone, or at least everyone who understood Russian know. Whatever it was he said it was pretty funny as his countrymen got a good chuckle out of it. Nervous energy expended he sat back down to get to work with his stack.
- We're into the last level of the night and roughly 150 of the 366 entrants remain.
- Alexander Moiseev - who was runner-up at Eureka3 Bulgaria - is out as are Alberto Fiorilla, Roger Hairabedian, Jack Salter and Sean Prendiville.
- Chip counts of some of the notables: Achilles Bozso (39,000), Diego Gomez (70,000), Dmitry Vitkind (120,000), Louis Salter (48,000), Peter Barrable (39,000), Simeon Todorov (46,000) and Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov (63,000)
All photos are copyright of Tomas Stacha