As mentioned on the EPT Live coverage, it’s true–the rail is made up predominantly of Spaniards cheering on their man Ke Kwan Lau. But watching from the rail, I couldn’t spot a single one of them actually watching the action. Instead, they engaged in the second most popular activity in the room other than poker, that being drinking.

There was plenty of it, with more arriving, these ones with straws and a striking similarities to either lemonade or vodka tonic. Fuelled by this one of the gang took a “selfie” without shame and then showed it to the others. They all laughed a kind of 4.7 per cent abv laugh and drank a bit more.

The reason for their lack of interests in the final may have something to do with the fact that, from the rail, in the seats arranged for those who want to watch, it’s nigh on impossible to see anything. The two screens mounted on the stage are, from this distance, about the size of an iPhone screen held at arm’s length.


Ke Kwan Lau with Max Silver (foreground)

And so the Spanish railbirds got together in a huddle and chanted something, holding up a partially inflated inflatable doll as they did so, all very proud of themselves.

At least they’re having a good time, because as everyone has noticed it’s now all about waiting and for the Spanish, if their man is to win they will be waiting for some time yet. It could be that only the doll that has that kind of staying power.

To pass the time they organise a chant to giddy-up their man. It sounds like “juanito, juanito, juanito!” Whatever it is Lau immediately turned around, begging them to keep quiet. But they laughed again, and then some more when Lau came down from the stage as the level ended. But it would not end before the last hand before the break would eliminate another player.

This time it was Max Silver shoving with ace-ten. Stephen Chidwick found sevens but was in no rush to call. Instead, while the Spaniards kept joking about something, Chidwick did nothing for a while. When he did call he had a tense minute ahead of him. Silver flopped a ten and needed only to clear the river card. But out came the seven, busting Silver.

The Spaniards continued to laugh.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.


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