It’s been a very bad day to be a chip leader. The minute after players have accumulated monster stacks, they’ve lost them, with the chip lead swinging from table to table.
Sander Lyloff kicked it all off when he imploded very early in the day, and was knocked out. More recently, Pascal Perrault and Julian Thew have taken hits, and Raul Mestre, from Spain, has also gone from hero to very-close-to-zero after a number of hands went against him.
The latest player hoping to make the title of chip leader stick is Gunnar Rabe, the PokerStars qualifier from Sweden, who just won a huge pot from Mestre. The board showed 7s-3s-9c when I arrived to the table a few moments ago and Rabe had just been re-raised. There was an initial bet of about 7,000 in the pot and Mestre had bumped it up to 18,000.
Rabe called and the turn was a dangerous 6s, potentially filling flushes or straights. Mestre agonised for about five minutes before checking and Rabe checked behind him.
Amateur observers might have been suspicious of Mestre’s Hollywood-ing, but there was nothing restrained or covert about the thump of the table that followed this sequence, which unfolded in a flash: the river brought the As; Mestre checked; Rabe bet 20,000 and Mestre called. Rabe turned over Ks-7c for the now-nut flush, and Mestre was vlearly devastated.
He later confided to having hit the queen-high flush on the turn, but his trap-check backfired. The free card gave Rabe, who made the final table in Dortmund last year, the bigger flush and a chip lead of around about 160,000.
Meanwhile, we’re down to 47 players, with Ram Vaswani among the latest big-name casualties.