The main tournament floor doesn’t know how lucky it is, nor is it fully expecting the torrent of top class talent that is going to filter down over the next few hours. On the floor above the main playing area is another room packed with some twelve poker tables, each one loaded with hefty tournament clout.
EPT champions Michael Tureniec, Rupert Elder, Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald and Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand ‘Elky’ Grospellier are all there – Elder and Elky sharing the same table, both seemingly licking their chops at the same couple of players. Another Frenchman with dyed hair, Guillaume Darcourt, sits at the next table along, Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov at the one after that, Victor Ramdin one further. Other talented players, some better known than others, are dotted around on other tables including Jonny Lodden, Mathew Frankland, Steven van Zadelhoff, Leo Margets and Koen de Visscher.
Big hands don’t just fall to big names though. Mikalai Pobal, who has chipped up to 52,000 managed to get it all in against Tiago Dias’ 15,000 stack with Q♣Q♠ dominating J♣J♠. The Q♦3♣3♠ flop pushed Dias to his feet, the 3♦ made him turn ninety degrees to his left and the 3♥ river had him moving away from the table before half the table excitedly pointed out that he had chopped the pot with quad threes, queen kicker.
‘You’re playing a freeroll now,’ said Peter Turmezey with a grin.
We’ll have to check on Dias later.