Wednesday, December 18, 2013

On the Fast Track at EPT Prague

Am trying to get some work done today while following the final table at the European Poker Tour Main Event in Prague via the EPTLive stream on There are four players remaining at the moment with the German Julian Track currently sitting in first position by a decent-sized margin.

Track took the chip lead into today’s final day of play after a blindingly-fast penultimate day saw 22 play down to eight in less than two 90-minute levels. Lots of aggressive play helped increase the rapidity of the bustouts, including a kind of wild hand involving Track and Ori Hasson of Israel that gave the former the chip lead.

The blinds were 20,000/40,000, and preflop machinations between the pair saw Hasson five-bet shoving for close to 3.8 million (about 95 big blinds) with AcQd and Track calling for almost that much with TcTs. The tens held, and a little while later Hasson hit the rail in 12th.

It was the biggest pot of the tournament to that point and also the one everyone seemed to be buzzing about afterwards with many surprised that both players would commit such deep stacks with those two hands.

The hand made me think of witnessing a lot of similar decisions being made with around 100 players left in the WSOP Main Event over the years, during that nether period well after the money bubble has burst but still a long way away from the final few tables. I’m talking about those hands that see players five- or six-betting all in with A-K or J-J with stacks of 1 million or more and blinds at 4,000/8,000 or thereabouts.

I haven’t been following the action all week nor do I have much feel for how Track or Hasson had been playing hands leading up to their big confrontation on Tuesday, so there obviously could be relevant context for their decisions.

Even so, I think in tournaments sometimes there emerges this interesting kind of collective momentum that can affect players in various ways, including speeding up their play. Yesterday several had just been knocked out in short order when the Track-Hasson hand occurred, and I think when that happens occasionally players in certain situations are oddly encouraged to gamble more when opportunities arise.

The same happens with slowing down, too, as I suppose one could say is being evidenced here at four-handed with the remaining players appearing to exercise a lot of patience at present. The deep stacks make it easier to slow down, too, of course, although both Track and Hasson were mighty deep when they put their tourney lives on the line yesterday with pocket tens and ace-queen, respectively.

Will see if Track can keep it on the rails to victory later today. Click over to EPTLive on to watch, too.

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