The reality was that someone else who had busted. Not a cause for that much sadness you might think, but certainly so if said player had been, shall we say, less able than the professional vultures who had been circling him all afternoon. Now he was gone, and so were his chips.
Charlie Carrel was most affected — covering his face to mask crocodile tears. Adrian Mateos, and David Peters were also full of regret, while Fabrice Soulier comforted himself with the fact that he’d taken a pile off of Carrel in a pot earlier on, much to Carrel’s chagrin, so had plenty to be getting on with.
It was one of those moments that demonstrated the natural order of things in poker, much like that of the animal kingdom in which the strong attempt to tear apart the weak. The only difference in poker is that they try to do so with a smile on their face in the hope that one day you might come back. The lion makes no such promise to the antelope.
But nature decrees it must be this way. There is no room for sentiment or charity in a poker tournament, and this poor chap new this when he sat down, even though he was as nice as hell to everyone when he got up to leave.
I won’t name the player, to save the blushes of all involved, but smiling throughout, personable and polite, he called all-in with jack high and suffered the consequences, and a Russian player at the other end of the table gladly taking possession of what was left of his chips. He left instead with smiles, good games and handshakes from everyone.
Everyone was sorry to see him go.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.