PCA 2012: Beef provolone and chips
The main event has now dropped to two tables with eight more players to leave before play ends for the day.
With 17th place finisher Daniel Schmieding now gone the players were granted liberty for a few minutes. Ruben Visser and Martin Jacobson, who share a table, spoke with each other. Visser, wearing an aqua and yellow hooped t-shirt looked serious, while Jacobson looks like the Beta version of a new design for human beings - tanned, blonde, fit, healthy and rich.
Martin Jacobson stares down Alex Fitzgerald
It's downtime for everyone else too. The cameras surrounding the main feature table are temporarily abandoned while a waiter in a floral shirt stands guard with a tray, hoping no one is thirsty. A half-eaten beef provolone sandwich, left on a chair in the bleachers, begins to wilt under the lights.
Play eventually restarts, Faraz Jaka and Anthony Gregg the leading lights on the feature table while Visser (the chip leader right now) and Jacobson play on with the likes of Xuan Liu and Alex Fitzgerald.
Liu wants to sit down but there's something wrong with her chair. A floor guy and a sound man immediately leap into action, one heading off to find a replacement while the other pulls away the damaged seat. Liu waits, crouching down, her chin at table height, until the new chair appeared, looking identical to the last.
Beyond this outer table is the main table which seems detached from everything else.
Over the din of riffled chips Robbie Thompson's voice can be heard in snippets, short phrases but not much else. We hear that people have folded. We hear that people have won pots. That's it. The players there don't even look like they're playing, the only indication that something is happening being the slow movements of the TV cameras. Otherwise they could be eight people just sitting around an oversized poker table waiting for a bus.
Back on the outer table Fitzgerald and Jacobson become the centre of attention, tangling in a pot.
Jacobson is the much talked about Swede who, as we mentioned yesterday, has reached the final table nine of ten times when reaching the top 25 of an international tournament with a buy-in of more than $5,000. But what of Fitzgerald?
Fitzgerald is American born but very much a citizen of the world. His tournament record speaks of his penchant for travel rather than putting down roots in one place, with cashes in the Philippines, Uruguay, Ireland, Italy and Brazil, as well as back home in the United States. One highlight came here in 2011 when he finished third in the 8-Max.
Now, with two microphone booms hanging over his head, he looks like a man in control. Leaning forward and keeping still, he took on Jacobson who for once looked on the defensive, his eye flicking back and forth, Action Man style, from Fitzgerald, to the board, to Fitzgerald again.
It was difficult to see what happened next, and the voice of Thompson providing a kind of false staccato commentary, but as the cameras backed away it was Fitzgerald hauling back the pot, up to more than 2,500,000.