PCA 2014: Pascal Lefrancois staying focussed at the disconnected table
If you're watching the webcast stream - and if not, why not? - then you'll see the big fancy TV table on the main stage. Just off the runway there are two more tables, packed with players such Mike McDonald, Tom Hall, Grayson Ramage and Max Silver. But there are four tables in play in this Main Event. Where's the fourth? From the PokerStars Blog press desk you need to drag your line of sight a good 20 metres to the right to see the disconnected table.
Excusing a blogger or two and a trio of cameraman, soundman, producer, there's not much hubbub around this other table. At a distance it doesn't seem like it's part of the Main Event at all. Only once you get closer does it become clear. Studious faces loom above some enormous stacks of chips, most noticeably Pascal Lefrancois.
The French Canadian finished Day 2 as the chip leader and he's back chasing the chip lead once again.
Lefrancois has been chipping up slowly and steadily, now up to 2.5m. He picked up a big pot on a dangerous board forcing a frustrated fold from Adrian Bussman. It doesn't seem like he's having any trouble keeping focussed playing out in the wings.
"Not at all," said Lefrancois. "Honestly, I feel more disconnected when I play on the TV table. I like doing my little thing away from the cameras. I don't especially enjoy it... I come every day with my strategy. I have a specific plan depending on what's going at the table so it doesn't bother me much. I enjoy being away from it."
Those words would lead you to believe that Lefrancois is somewhat of an introvert or, at the very least, just not an extrovert. It may surprise you then that when Lefrancois won his WSOP bracelet back in 2010 for $568,974 that he took his trophy shot topless. If you must see it then click through to his Twitter account @Pass_Lefrancois and check out the wallpaper. Now, three years later, does he look back at it as a bit of silliness?
"I don't regret it at all," he said. "My friends had been supporting me for days. I felt that when they asked me to I owed it to them. In our group of friends, that kind of stuff we think is funny."
There was mixed news for Lefrancois coming back from the break: he's made it into the final 24, but his little table has broken and he's now playing on the main TV table.
Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.