Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Travel Report: EPT13 Malta, Day 7 -- Guess How Old

On Wednesday the entire focus was on the European Poker Tour Main Event, with everyone on board to help cover it. They played down to 30 today. Ismael Bojang (winner of the Italian Poker Tour Malta Main), Davidi Kitai, Frederik Jensen, Benjamin Pollak, Ole Schemion, and Dominik Panka are among those still in contention for this one.

Forgot to mention I played a little poker last night -- the media event. Wasn’t anything too special for your humble scribbler, the most interesting moment probably coming when I was dealt pocket aces and raised, then after a fold the next player looked down to see he had no cards. Thought for a second it would be a misdeal, but the dealer had only mucked his hand prematurely and the hand continued (and I doubled).

Didn’t quite make the final table, but my friend and colleague Stephen Bartley did and went on to win the sucker. Stephen, of course, has been reporting on the European Poker Tour since the very beginning, and now that the 13th (and last) season is winding down he noted to me this week how he’d been to 98 of these festivals, which means he’ll end on 99 after Prague in December. And I believe this was the first of these media events he’s won, so I was extra glad for him.

Speaking of camaraderie among the reporting team, after play ended tonight we were able to hurry over to an Indian restaurant not far away called Shiva’s and get a table. They were a little understaffed it appeared, and they warned us there would be a decent wait for our food. In fact the wait was kind of epic -- I imagine it was over an hour, perhaps even 90 minutes before we had our main courses.

We weren’t too bothered, though, as we played a strangely engrossing game without a name, essentially a celebrity age guessing game with some inspired rules allowing us to play head-to-head taking turns around the table. Stephen was the massive winner again, causing us all to believe he was on some sort of game-playing heater.

The game involved everyone taking turns proposing celebrities whose age others would guess. The oldest named was certainly Kirk Douglas (who is 99), while the youngest might have been Justin Bieber (22). It did expose a bit of a cultural gap between myself (the lone American) and the other five (all English), insofar as there are many celebrities I know that they don’t and vice-versa.

The game also often focuses attention on the fact that for most celebrities, the era of their fame comes when they are young adults (i.e., in their 20s or 30s), which therefore would provide the hint that would help with the age-guessing business. Such is true of the poker players we’re covering, too, for the most part (these days), although there are exceptions.

Had a good lamb curry dish (my second of the trip), and we got back to the rooms in decent time before 11 p.m. Back at it tomorrow, where I believe I’ll be moving over to the €10K High Roller. I go in late and so may try to make another excursion to see another part of Malta, if I can.

Don’t think I’ll have time to make it to any of the Megalithic Temples (some remains of which are pictured above), some of the oldest temples in the world, I believe, dating back to 3600 B.C. or even before. Or at least that’s the experts best guess, anyway. But I may get a cab over to Mdina to take a quick look around.

Meanwhile you kind look around on the PokerStars blog for coverage of both the Main and the HR.

Image: “The megalithic remains at Ġgantija,” Hamelin de Guettelet. CC BY-SA 3.0.

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