It’s a quiet start to the penultimate day of the main event. The players arrived in good order, ignoring the “switch off mobile phones” as, head down, they texted and tweeted their news.
It’s a different scene to two years ago when a giant neon sign was erected behind the set, providing a magnificent backdrop, and a migraine, to those watching live in the theatre. This year the overhead lights are on revealing the theatre in all its daytime glory, with only the riffle of chips and the hum of an air conditioner for noise.
It’s not just the players who are busy. Around the stage others whose jobs involve flitting on and off the television set are busy. PokerNews video presenter Jennifer Robles worked her way around the stage in high heels, manfully trying not to trip over something. Two dealers chatted and joked at one end of the stage, thinking nobody could hear them. Floor people, getting used to the idea that they’ll be standing around for eight hours or so, walked around purposefully while photographers did the same, trying to think up new ways of taking pictures of the same dwindling supply of faces.
The theatre at Casino Sanremo
Out in the audience a girl in sparkly silver boots attempted to watch the poker, but was drawn to her twitter feed on a tablet perched in her lap. There are two screens at the front of the stage, both of which block the view of the feature table itself. Not that people seem to mind. The front row of seats is occupied by a group of young men. It’s not clear who they’re railing, and won’t be until whoever it is doubles or is eliminated. The Italian media meanwhile occupy boxes, usually reserved for richer theatre guests, at the back.
It’s likely that the theatre at Casino Sanremo is usually a bit livelier than this. But if tomorrow’s final is the day for players to get some much earned attention, the penultimate day is pretty much the opposite. Today is all about dividing the field in half. Those that survive will have their picture taken and their story told. Those that don’t will be forgotten in short order. This is what today is about, and in that latter category is Vincenzo Scarcella.
His exit from the stage was not exactly memorable. With 257,000 in front of him, he moved all-in from the small blind. Jordan Westmorland, who had opened for 50,000 from the hijack, called, showing jack-ten with a spade. Scarcella was slightly ahead with ace-three of diamonds. Westmorland found a jack on the flop though (and three spades), then a ten on the turn. The Gods had made it quite clear to Scarcella. He was no longer required.
There was no noise or commotion as Scarcella left the stage. The young men in the front row were not here for him and nobody flinched on the outer table. Instead Scarcella collected his jacket and followed a floor man up the stairs to the pay-out desk. But as he got there the security guard stopped him, insisting that he was not allowed through without the correct pass. The pleading of the floor person got him though. Scarcella had reached the last of two tables, but was already being forgotten.
Full coverage of EPT Sanremo is on the main EPT Sanremo page. There’s hand-by-hand coverage in the panel at the top and feature pieces below.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.