Saturday, February 09, 2013

Travel Report: 2013 EPT Deauville Main Event, Day 5

After the très rapide day on Thursday, yesterday’s Day 5 was a fairly long one again as it took more than 12 hours (including breaks) for the final 23 players to play down to the eight-handed final table.

Remi Castaignon of France ran red-hot yesterday, knocking out eight of the 15 players who were eliminated including the last three to finish with almost 10 million chips. That’s nearly three times what second-position Walid Bou-Habib currently has, and about 42% of the total chips in play. And with many of the others starting play today at least short-stacked (if not in the danger zone), we could well have a relatively short final day of play today, especially if Castaignon continues to run well.

Thursday’s long work day went well, though a highlight of the day came before when I had the chance to take a quick tour by car around Deauville and nearby Trouville with Howard Swains and Stephen Bartley of the PokerStars blog. They’d mentioned to me how they’d seen a few sites nearby that had been designated with the “Proust was here” markers, and so we went out to take a look at those and a few other things before play began at noon.

Over in Trouville we saw Les Frémonts, a place where Marcel Proust spent a couple of summers in the 1890s and which served as a model for La Raspelière in À la recherche du temps perdu. While not that different from other, similarly attractive edifices surrounding the hillside, the view out over the coast was quite stunning, and one could imagine how looking upon it might help provide some literary inspiration.

We saw another house, the Villa Strassburger, that had been inherited by Gustave Flaubert. We also saw one of the old pillboxes dug into a hill and pointed out toward the water, a small, squarish, concrete structure with small openings from which weapons could be fired. Stephen explained what the pillbox was to Howard and me and how they were used in WWII.

Finally we drove around to the Hippodrome de Deauville to see the track and even some horses being ridden on the cool, brisk morning, yet another picturesque scene to take in as we imagined a summer’s day with stands full of people and races going off one after another.

Am going to cut things short for now. Going to see if I can’t get back out before play begins today and perhaps explore the center of Deauville a little more as the opportunities for doing so are disappearing quickly. Meanwhile, check over at PokerNews today to see how the Main Event plays out. Also look in on the reports from the High Roller at PokerNews, as well as Howard and Stephen’s musings about it all on the PokerStars blog. There’s live streaming from Deauville happening, too, if you click over to

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