BLOG – In it for the long haul at the WSOPE final table

BLOG – In it for the long haul at the WSOPE final table

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Hello again from the casino at The Empire in Leicester Square where currently nine players are duking it out across the felt in a bid to join Annette Obrestad, John Juanda and Barry Shulman as World Series of Poker Europe champion. Roland de Wolfe took an early hit when he doubled Nicolas Levi but really no one is in desperation mode with blinds still relatively low compared to the 10,000,000 plus chips in play.

Jack Effel guessed that we’d be here for twenty hours but based on the first ninety minutes of play I can’t honestly agree. It seems that players are trying to win here – we’ve seen five all-ins so far and only one call when Roland de Wolfe’s A-K lost out to Levi’s T-T. It seems these guys are playing to win.

And why shouldn’t they be? The pay jump for going out in sixth instead of ninth is just under £100,000 but the difference between first and ninth is a gigantic three-quarters of a million pounds. Tournament poker should be played to win as all the experienced players at the final table know.

Victory Poker CEO Dan Fleyshman is probably the least experienced poker player in the room but you can bet your net worth that he’s been taking tips from Victory Poker pros Brian Rast, Antonio Esfandiari and Andrew Robl overnight. He’s in a good position for a six figure payday or even the bracelet, currently in second place.

A World Series of Poker final table is an incredible place to be – the atmosphere, the tension, the bustling of production teams, reporters and tournament staff. It’s amazing, really, seeing these guys play out for a prize pool of over three million pounds.

At the moment the rail is not particularly loud, except for when Bord wins a pot and the English realise they’re supporting someone at a sporting event and need to be really loud and primal. It’s in our blood. However, the bar is right behind the spectators so that could all change in a short while.

Who am I rooting for, you ask? You didn’t ask but I’ll tell you anyway – I’m well up for Roland taking this down and making himself poker’s first WPT/EPT/WSOPE/WSOP winner. Why? Because he used to be a poker journalist and if he can do it so can I. There’s logic for you.

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