I mention this only now to announce that things have changed. We’re now more than four levels in and the floodgates of eliminations have definitely opened. Two of the most recent departures were the Team PokerStars Pro duo of Peter Eastgate and Noah Boeken, neither of whom had found much traction in San Remo and had been toying with a short-stack for long periods.
Eastgate got his chips in (about 5,000 by this stage) with ace-nine on the button after an early-position raise and a late position call. He was squeezing and it might well have worked had the player in the big blind not found ace-queen and called. No help and Eastgate was gone.
Boeken too has had it rough. From the rail he told us that he managed to win only one pot all day, and then when he found ace-queen he got the remainder of his chips in pre-flop. His opponent had ace-king.
So those two are now looking for alternative entertainment on the Italian Riviera, although we’ll see them back in Monte Carlo next week with renewed enthusiasm.
Better news, though, for followers of one of the internet’s most enigmatic and precocious talents. His family call him Sami Kelopuro but to the online legions, he is the one and only LarsLuzak. Although he regularly crushes the highest-stakes online tables, Kelopuro hasn’t made much of a splash on the EPT to date. But perhaps that could change here. As he headed to the dinner break, he was looking back at a chip-leading 55,000 stack, much of which was earned on the final hand before the buffet.
Kelopuro raised from early position and was re-raised by a local player from late. The button then called the re-raise. Kelopuro went into the tank. He thought, he ummed, he arred, then he shoved. The re-raiser called, the button got out of the way, and Kelopuro might well have licked his lips at the successful denouement of a dastardly plan. He had aces (of course!) and was up against jacks. The aces stood up and he scooped about 25,000.
“I must be in the top ten with that stack,” pondered Kelopuro.
“You’re probably the chip leader,” he was told.
“Really? I don’t usually even make it to the dinner break,” Kelopuro said.