Friday, May 02, 2014

Great Finish at the EPT10 Grand Final

Been watching off-and-on all day the EPTLive stream of the European Poker Tour Grand Final Main Event final table from Monaco. They’re down to heads-up, now, and as I have work to do I may just have to step away and watch the conclusion a little later.

Kind of an interesting situation arose about an hour ago when the final two players, Jack Salter and Antonio Buonanno, discussed a possible chop although decided against. That came after an earlier discussion at three-handed also resulted in no deal.

During the lengthy delay as the heads-up deal was considered, Salter ended up working out a deal with several friends on the rail who were willing to buy up a percentage of him and thus guarantee Salter a decent payday regardless of his finish.

In fact, that discussion extended well after the possibility of deal between the two players had been scuttled, even reaching the point where it appeared a little unfair to Buonanno to have to sit and wait out Salter getting his situation settled before play could resume. (That is a shot above from amid the deal talk.)

James Hartigan brought up on the stream how the situation kind of recalled what happened back at the first Main Event of Season 10 at Barcelona, when a very long four-handed deal discussion was complicated further by Tom Middleton’s side deal with backers on the rail. There, too, no deal was made between the players, although there would be a deal later at heads-up.

I was there for the Barcelona stop, and at the time wrote about how it was good that the EPT willingly to allowed deal-making (and helped facilitate deals) and that it was good that deals were made part of the final table coverage. Keeping all that out in the open is good for the players, I think, and also is kind of fascinating to follow as a reporter or spectator.

Today marks the last day of Season 10 for the EPT. Besides that Barcelona stop, I had the good fortune of being able to attend and report from the Deauville stop as well. Both trips were great fun, and I was grateful to be able to work alongside the PokerStars bloggers who regularly cover the EPT, Stephen Bartley, Howard Swains, and Rick Dacey. What they do is unique, I think, and valuable, too, insofar as their fantastic “feature-on-the-fly”-style really opens up what can be done when it comes to tourney reporting.

Anyhow, even though there’s still a short bit left to go, I wanted to say well done to PokerStars and the EPT folks for another compelling season of tournaments. Click over to the PokerStars blog to check out the final reports from the EPT10 Grand Final.

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