The atmosphere is temperate and calm in the theatre of Casino Sanremo, and the seats comfortable, but as for poker you can’t see anything. Events on the stage are being recorded for television, with the live feed starting tomorrow on EPTLive. For now though the view from the seats is of players not cards.
Ludovic Lacay already had his headphones on 15 minutes before play was due to begin. Their tranquilizing effect may have been to blank out the bustle of activity taking place around him. It may also have been because sitting next to him, just like yesterday, was Artem Litvinov, who he’d endured a spat with during an incident regarding the clock.
For his part Litvinov, in return, pays no attention to Lacay in return. The Russian is barefoot and wears his lucky shirt, the same mint green short sleeved shirt he’s worn since day one. It now smells and has three holes in it, one very visible under his right arm. But it will have to fall from his back – which it may yet do – before he plays without it.
They sit on one of the outer tables, to the right of the stage. This is where chip leader Jason Tompkins also sits with a great tower of yellow chips, topped with red and blue, level with his eyes. All is well for the Irishman, although his request for a massage therapist has been denied.
On the other side of the stage is the table featuring Inge Forsmo who wears a jacket today and has his hair slicked back with gel which turns his hair silver under the lights. He was among most players who arrived early for work.
Few were a little late in arriving. After Timoshenko, Matt Salsberg came running in to take his seat on the feature table, out of breath and wearing laundry day clothes. Forsmo’s table was still waiting for Micah Raskin who was last to arrive. Above his head swept the enormous boom, far bigger than previous events, which hovering inches over the players’ heads, transfixing Lavallee.
Introductions were made by Teresa Nousiainen who addresses players like a kindly matron, with their best intentions at heart. The players in turn appear not to listen and busied themselves riffling chips instead. Play then finally starts.
Keep an eye on the live tournament reporting from EPT Sanremo for all the news from the tournament floor.