PCA 2012: Mattern the man of the moment (again)
Three EPT champions sit at table 39; Team PokerStars Pros Liv Boeree and Arnaud Mattern, as well as reigning Grand Final champ Ivan Freitez. Any of the three could be well chipped at this point but it is Frenchman Mattern, one of the players to have come closest to winning two EPT titles, who is leading the charge with 96,000.
Mattern, sat in the under-the-gun seat, held one pink 500 chip aloft, looked at the dealer Ricky, who incidentally looks uncannily like my grandfather did, and said, "Five." This raise, at the 100-200 level, folded out all his opponents to take the blinds, scoring the Frenchman the tiniest of upticks. A larger one was about to arrive.
Robson Carlos Venturini, a heavy set player in a bright yellow Brazil football shirt, opened from the hijack to 600, a raise which was shown little respect by Nam Le who three-bet his button to 1,400. Then things got interesting.
Another Brazilian was sat in the small blind, Myro Garcia, who appeared to find a hand and cold four-bet to 3,900. The action was now on Mattern in the big blind who looked down at his cards and let out the smallest of huffs. The Frenchman looked at Garcia then across to the initial raiser Venturini but he largely seemed to ignore Le, perhaps, and understandably, writing him off as a light re-raiser.
The Team Pro finally settled on a cold five-bet of 7,250 which was quickly tipped across the line forcing folds out of Venturini and Le (looks like Mattern was right about that one), but not so Garcia. The Brazilian sat and stared at the chips in the middle before turning his attentions to his own stack, which had 20,250 left in it. He picked up a 5,000 blue chip and tossed in the call.
The 8♠5♦A♥ flop was not the most co-ordinated, a single bullet acting as the fulcrum. The question was whether it would act as catalyst or as an action killer? It seemed the former as the flop was checked by both players.
Garcia opted to check again on the 9♣ turn as Mattern click-clacked a large pile of the 25 denomination green chips in his hands. The chips finally stopped moving as Mattern decided it was time to make a bet, a curiously small one of 2,600. Garcia made the call.
The 9♠ paired the board and Garcia checked for a third time. Mattern, perhaps figuring it was the most value he could extract, pushed out 2,950. Garcia made the call and was shown pockets aces for the nut full house, much to the amusement of Freitez who chortled to himself for some time, occasionally waving his Shamballa shackled hand in the air.
That pot took Mattern up to 96,000. Moments later he found those pocket aces again and managed to get them all-in pre-flop against pocket kings of Venturin taking him up to 147,000. Come the end of level four Mattern had chipped up to 170,000, which is quite some stack when you consider last night's chip leader Alexey Repik bagged 220,100 after nine levels.
"I'm the new ElkY. This is such an easy game," said Mattern with a Gallic smile.
Boeree's simple response perhaps summing up everyone else's sentiment: "Ridiculous."