We’ve mentioned before how the two Finns left in the EPT10 Barcelona Main Event, Kimmo Kurko and Pasi Sormunen, each have donned a shiny chapeau, a reprise of sorts of a Finnish final table fashion from a year ago.
When those hats were introduced yesterday, suddenly the golden-capped Kersten “the Killer” Nielsen was sharing the headwear spotlight, the golden bull with the words “BIG TORO” no longer immediately grabbing the attention of those passing by.
Undeterred, Nielsen pushed ahead to lead near the end of play yesterday before relinquishing the top spot to Tom Middleton before night’s end. Today he’d retaken the lead, and even if his cap isn’t drawing everyone’s attention his big stack of chips did.
But Nielsen has found himself usurped once more, again by a Finn.
A late-position raise by Nielsen a short while ago earned a reraise shove by Kurko from the small blind. Hesitating just a moment — a pause that earned more attention afterwards once the hands were revealed — Nielsen called then showed A♥A♠, while Kurko was suddenly forced to table his hand.
Kurko hesitated, too, then showed his Q♠J♥.
Kurko stared at the felt with a look of resignation, then at the 9♠Q♦8♣ flop rolled his eyes in a way that suggested he was trying to avoid looking directly at the cause of what would ultimately be merciless teasing.
The 3♦ turned and the teasing continued. Then came the river — the 10♥! — and suddenly Kurko had not only survived, but had edged in front.
The crowd roared, Nielsen grimaced, and Kurko removed his hat briefly, seeming almost ready to hide his face in it to afford a short moment alone to enjoy his good fortune in private.
The hat soon back in place, play continued, Kurko’s face beaming nearly as brightly as that hat.
Kurko leads and Nielsen is a close second, the others now chasing the two topped in gold.
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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.