“I’m not giving extra, no way.” This was Jack Salter. Antonio Buonanno and Malte Moennig were asking him for a little leeway on his deal terms, but Salter, leaning back casually in his leather chair, his head tipped back as the others peered anxiously at a computer screen, was not budging. From body language alone you sensed that Salter knew he had everyone where he wanted them – worried about his chips, worried about his advantage, worried about their own fate.
He might be right. There’s no doubting who is in charge right now. Salter sent Maya Rocu to the rail in fourth place, adding even more firepower to his armoury, his stack dwarfing those of his two opponents.
Salter eventually got up, but it was to talk to his brother Louis on the rail, and to Ludovic Geilich who arrived carrying a drink with a straw in it. There was an awkward moment when Salter, going to fist pump Geilich, ended up fist pumping what looked like a vodka and Red Bull, but other than that everything was cool.
The problem was that Buonanno, second in chips, wanted more. Salter wasn’t prepared to give it and whispered something to his brother before returning to his seat.
“Okay,” said Buonanno from the other side of the stage. “Next level, then new deal.”
Suddenly Salter leaned forward in his chair. “You don’t want a deal?”
“Not now,” replied Buonanno.
Salter seemed surprised and was leaning forward, attentive for the first time in this little drama. “You both want to play? Okay.”
And so play continued, with Salter back beneath his hood with his sunglasses on. Did Salter make a mistake? Did Buonanno? The next level should provide the answer.
All the hand-by-hand action, including chip counts, will be in the panel at the top of the main event page. We will have feature pieces below that.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.