With three players left there’s no denying things are very quiet in the tournament room. The side events – the high roller and the six-max – plod on, although every player eliminated means one less person to make noise in the room. Any noise would be welcome, even if entirely unrelated to the events taking place in front of the television cameras. There are still a handful of people in the room, they just don’t look like they’ve even acknowledge poker is taking place.

One woman stands out, dressed as she is in a short black dress. It’s not the black dress necessary that catches the eye, more the pink accessories. Starting at the feet, her 18-hole Doc Martin boots have pink laces. Her socks, knee length, are pink and black striped, the same pink as her sweater which hangs over her leather bag. Something pink also dangles from her hair. It’s quite possible that there’s a Cyndi Lauper gig taking place here as soon as the poker is done.


Andrew Chen, viewed from the sidelines

A few feet away a man in a flat cap sits drawing pictures, psychedelic pictures, alternating yellows, reds, pinks and purples from a packet of felt pens he’s brought with him. It’s possible his eyes are messed up after watching the Lauper groupie. He sits watching the High Roller event, which features among others, Bertrand “EWlkY” Grospellier, who ironically is off-duty ElkY today; low maintenance ElkY, largely grey with a peroxide top.

To the side of the stage Natalie Hof carries out the post-mortem interview with recently eliminated Mario Puccini. Hof is smartly dressed in a black lace dress, but wears flip flops. Alongside her, looking down, is Puccini, in an off-turquoise hoodie, which seems positively conservative compared to the Lauper girl.

On the other side of the table Roberto Romanello talks to friends, eliminated as his is from the last side event in town. He’s left with Monaco to continues his Player of the Year dream.

The crowd sitting in the stalls is now reduced to seven, five of whom are railing Kitai as we get closer to the finale. Robbie Thompson announces the blinds are going up to 60,000-120,000 with a 10,000 ante. That finale is not far off.


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