Saturday, October 22, 2016

Travel Report: EPT13 Malta, Day 3 -- Double-Knockout

Another long-but-not-too-long day here as I helped cover Day 3 of the Italian Poker Tour Malta Main Event.

They played down from 31 to the eight-handed final table, but kept on going in order to get the tournament down to six for Sunday. The pace was relatively steady throughout the day and night, getting us to eight-handed in good enough time. Then came a lull, and with the stacks moderately deep it appeared it might take a while to get to the end of the night.

There was one short stack -- Filip Demby -- but he’d been folding for a long while and appeared ready to do so much longer until a premium hand finally came along. But suddenly another player, Daniel Portiansky, open-pushed his below average stack, and when it folded to Demby he kind of surprised us by calling all in.

There was still another player left to act, Alexander Lakhov, and after just a short bit of consideration he called. Having the other two covered, Lakhov tabled pocket queens while the all-in players each had ace-king. The board ran clean, and boom -- we were done.

That got us out of the tournament room in good enough time to take another dining trip, this time to the bottom of the Hilton Malta right next to the casino to a Thai restaurant called the Blue Elephant.

The food was fantastic. For a starter I had the fancily-named “Pearls of the ‘Blue Elephant,’” kind of a sampler of the best starters that included chicken satay, spring roll, Thai fish cake, dim sum, crispy paper prawn, and enoki seafood salad. Then for entree I had the Massaman lamb curry with coconut milk along with Thai sweet potatoes (with cashews), and rice.

To follow that earlier one that ended Day 3, dinner was another double-knockout. I wish I’d had two stomachs to eat it all a second time.

Of that entree, the menu said “this dish was described in a poem by King Rama II.” I’ll refrain from waxing too lyrical about it, using that precedent as an excuse to get on with other things. Still, the dish was as delish as one could wish.

Both Ismael Bojang and Dominik Panka made that final six. Check the the PokerStars blog on Sunday to see if either of them can grab the IPT trophy.

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