Some trends have been bucked on the European Poker Tour today — none more notable than the fact that the main event wrapped closer to sunset than sunrise and it’s the high rollers dragging their heels. In this brave new world where anything seems possible, it’s nice to have some link to the way it was before — which is the principal reason Ole Schemion has bossed his way to the High Roller final table. He can do that at will, remember, and I think he has done it on our behalf only this afternoon.

Schemion is unrecognisable from the fresh-faced whipper-snapper of only 20 months ago, and has been through more image changes than the Barbie belonging to a particular fickle child. The photo below was taken in April 2013, and yet Schemion appears to have gone through more transformations since then than most people will in a lifetime.


Is this lad old enough to be in here?

In addition to the physical changes, Schemion is now also surrounded by a rare aura, the kind you only really experience when encountering top sportspeople or A-list celebrities. His expression at the table might be mistaken for one of bewilderment, but as soon as you actually have to play a pot against him, it is of savage, aggressive concentration.

He is sitting today alongside Joao Vieira, the Portuguese player who was leading the EPT Player of the Year race at the beginning of the Prague poker festival. This appearance at the final of the High Roller should keep him near to the summit, but he is not having it easy with Schemion nearby.

I watched three hands at the High Roller final table a little while ago, and it was obvious that Schemion was up to his old tricks. Viacheslav Goryachev opened on the first hand to 110,000 from the cut off and Schemion three bet to 295,000 from the small blind. Vieira folded, but Goryachev four bet to 610,000. Schemion, with his bewildered look fixed on his face, checked his cards again and moved all in. Goryachev mucked.


Ole Schemion, as he is now

On the next hand, the action was folded to Schemion and he opened to 125,000, tossing out five 25,000 chips. Vieira now started counting down some of his own chips, and Schemion started intently at him, really, really intently. Vieira, who had his sunglasses on his head, moved them over his eyes the minute he three bet to 280,000.

It was folded back around to Schemion, who also folded. But not before he had had another good, long stare.

On the next hand, the action folded again to Schemion. And again, actually, he folded too. But when Vieira began to cut out a bet from his stack, it won’t have escaped his notice that Schemion was again giving him the disgusted, perplexed, aggressive, inquisitive stare down.

Vieira bet anyway, moving his sunglasses back down over his eyes, and again he took this small pot. But Schemion is so dominant even when losing hands that he seems to attract almost all of the attention.


Joao Vieira: Wise to keep the glasses on

I mean, look at this blog post. He won only one of three hands, and it’s all about him regardless.

There are live updates from the High Roller tournament on the main High Roller page.


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