Friday, January 31, 2014

Travel Report: EPT10 Deauville Main Event, Day 4: A Big Fold and a Great Call

Quick post today just to mention a couple of highlights from yesterday in Deauville, one from the tourney and one afterwards.

The Main Event played down to 16 players, which theoretically means a short day of play today. The Greek player Sotirios Koutoupas ended play with the chip lead, and he hopes to better a runner-up finish in the EPT9 Prague Main Event a year ago. Meanwhile the High Roller got started, attracting 111 entries all told which I believe is a high for that event. They’ll have a longer day today, I imagine, with both tourneys concluding on Saturday.

A player from Iran named Bahram Chobineh captured our attention a couple of days ago when we learned the story of his unlikely road to Deauville. He’d apparently lost a bet with his home game buddies that resulted in him making the trip and playing with the “big boys” (as he calls his opponents here). They’d had a sit-n-go and decided the first player out would have to play EPT Deauville, and he was the one.

He says he’s never played any big buy-in tourneys, although we’re suspecting he probably plays for decent-sized stakes with those buddies back home. In any case, he’s definitely a newbie on the EPT, and when he made the cash it was a something of a triumph.

Well, he’s still in the sucker with 16 left, albeit in dead last chip-wise. He survived yesterday in part by making a huge fold early on, laying down pocket queens to an opponent preflop, then after showing his hand getting the satisfaction of seeing his opponent table a pair of aces.

I talked to the amiable Chobineh at the first break yesterday, which provided one Day 4 highlight for me.

The other one came following another nice dinner with the fellows, this one over in nearby Trouville where I enjoyed an avocado salad, dish of mussels, and chocolate mousse (that’s a pic of Trouville at night at the left).

Back in the room before midnight, I took a chance with the hotel wi-fi (which is actually quite good) and made a Skype-to-phone call to my grandmother back in North Carolina who turned 89 yesterday.

I had a little bit of trepidation before making the call, worrying that a combination of a poor connection and/or confusion about where I was calling from would make the call frustrating on her end. But the connection was perfect and we were able to talk for a good while, and it was great to hear her voice. She’s doing well, and I hope to find a way to get her down to see the farm soon after I return.

A good day all around, then. Gonna sign off now and ready for Day 5. Check the PokerStars blog to see if J.P. Kelly and/or Eugene Katchalov make it through to tomorrow’s final table, and also who makes it to that High Roller final table, too.

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