EPT London: Rio happily in tears

October 02, 2009


If you see tears in Maria “maridu” Mayrinck’s eyes, don’t bother comforting her. She doesn’t need it right now. Her tears will only fall as far as her highest stack, and with one of the biggest counts in the room, it’s not a long trip from her eyes to the chips.

There have been no shortage of big hands that led to this development–aces, kings, queens, sets, boats. She’s had them all and more than a couple times.

“And I’m getting action,” she said of her tablemates. “I just bet my hands and they come along.”

Still, she thinks there’s more than good cards at work. More on that in a second.

Admittedly, we did not send a correspondent to Copenhagen today. It didn’t seem necessary. Although the International Olympic Committee’s decision on the location for the 2016 was looming, it hardly seemed important to a collection of bloggers focused on the only game we know inside and out. And it will be a while before poker shows up at the Olympics.

So, when Chicago was laughed at and Toyko was written off, we paid little attention. We writers are from the United Kingdom and the United States. London gets its Olympics soon. The U.S. had its turn back in 1996. It just didn’t seem to matter. The action, as we saw it, was here at the EPT event.

Apparently, we might have missed an opportunity.

See, the Brazilian’s are an emotional bunch, and that’s why we love them. No matter how long the odds, no matter how high the stakes, the “vamoooooo” spirit always seems to live. And so when it came down to Madrid or Rio for the 2016 games, there rose something like hope in an strange Pythagorean path from Denmark to the UK to Brazil.

For Rio, it was not just a political game or a need for the economic boost that comes with the Olympic games. Like almost all things Brazilian, there was big time pride involved. Thus, when the announcement came down that Rio got the nod, everyone cried, from Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to Pele to a poker player in London.

That brings us back to Mayrinck. Before the dinner break, she was sitting on 75,000–no small amount and enough to give us a little leeway to tease her about the claim that she had not yet bluffed today. Our headline, “Maridu a liar” seemed, if a little cheeky, perfect for the situation. Since then, our words have traveled across the ether and to the South American home of the people who know the Brazilian Team PokerStars Pro. When she saw us again, she didn’t hesitate.

“Maridu a liar?” she asked with big eyes. “My mother was crying.”

“It was funny,” I protested.

“It doesn’t translate,” she said.

What should translate very well is Mayrinck is now up to 147,000. At the 300/600/50 level, that’s a big stack and one she credits almost entirely to what’s been happening in Copehagen and Brazil today.

“This is because of Rio, I know it,” she said.

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If we’re writing about things that don’t translate well, Mayrinck’s belief in Rio Power may be the biggest one of all. In this room of Brits, Americans, Swedes, Russians, Italians (oh, just pull out an atas and read from the index…), you won’t find many people who care more than a little bit about the location of the 2016 Olympics.

But for Mayrinck and her small cadre of Brazilians here, it matters and probably more than the game they are playing here today.


Finally, a personal postscript to Mama Maridu–your daughter may be a lot of things, but a liar she is not.Today she is among the chip leaders on Day 1A of EPT London.

And that is no lie.


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