Tournament director Teresa Nousiainen stood next to the final table announcing the introduction of the black and green 100,000 chip. Her information seemed to be largely ignored by the rail, which contained the likes of Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Eugene Katchalov, Cathy Hong, Roberto Romanello and several of the remaining players’ other halves.

Grospellier sat backwards on a chair getting a massage while talking to tournament host Neil Johnson who quickly scampered off to the side of the stage where a large monitor showed a close of the action.

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The final table

“He’s got the triangle out,” said Johnson, calling back over his shoulder.

Olivier Busquet was all-in against Botond, K♥J♦ against A♠2♣.

“He’s got the ace but it’s an all heart flop,” continued Johnson, “and Liv’s got the king of hearts.”

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The EPT Campione trophy

Sat looking dead ahead was Lorelei Lehmann, Busqet’s other half, her face betraying no concern, the only movement coming from her ankle, left leg crossed over right and the foot slowly rotating.

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Lorelei Lehmann

The 2♥ hit the turn to complete the flush but there were outs to the full house for Botond. Still no reaction from Lehmann demonstrating the most impressive poker face I’ve seen all week. The board blanked out with the 3♣ to double Busquet, the beginning of an impressive period of play that has rocketed the American into second place.

As contrast Claire Renaut, Soulier’s partner, punched the air with jubilation when the Frenchman won a key pot. Railing is no different from playing, there is no one way to do it: you can play it loose or play it close to your chest. We’ll see which railing strategy works best come the end of the tournament.

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Claire Renault

Balazs Botond has since left us and the chip counts stand as follows:

The final three
1. Olivier Busquet, 4,300,000
2. Jannick Wrang, 9,900,000
3. Fabrice Soulier, 2,800,000

The payouts
1st €640,000
2nd €430,000
3rd €240,000

Tournament snapshot
Level 30: blinds 50,000-100,000, ante 10,000
Players: 3 of 570
Average stack: 5,700,000
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