Raymond Rahme moves all-in. Leo Gizzarelli, with a cigarette dangling from his mouth, is in the tank. The others at this table look relieved to have nothing to do with any of this. There’s 39k of Raymond’s in the middle, put there after a raise from Leo who now faces the prospect of losing a big chunk of his stack, if not more. He mucks. Probably a smart move, for this is the start of the Rahme tear.
Playing his first PokerStars.com EPT Raymond is now 25 places from a cash finish. The spotlight found the South African at the World Series Main event, long overdue recognition for a player who, ahead of 6,357 others he finished third, picking up $3,048,025 and becoming the highest place African finishers in the history of the event.
After a cash at the Aussie Million in January it was back home to the All Africa Poker Tournament in Swaziland, where his third place finish scored him another $38,000.
Cut back to the EPT San Remo and he’s raising again. 8k this time, with Andreas Glannbro with the decision to make. Andreas looks over at Raymond on his left – Raymond responds by looking right back at him. He calls for a flop of K-T-2.
As if thinking that 8k before the flop wasn’t enough to chase out the Swede, he now makes it 20k, quickly getting the desired result as Andreas mucks. Yet another pot for the South African.
Leo Gizzarelli moves in again. Looking at him from the front his face is one of wide-eyed resignation; a cigarette still dangling from his mouth, an unkempt beard – a look usually caused by lack of sleep, nicotine withdrawal or kids.
“How much is it? Forty?” asks Raymond. It’s about that but still too much.
With the last hand of the level before dinner players begin drifting towards the exit where the door leads to the buffet. The formalities of a lame-duck hand before the break take an unusual turn on this table though, which by the way also features another Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri.
A 7k late position raise from Raymond was countered by a Dario all-in. The inter-Team PokerStars Pro clash had gathered the cameras, press and close to every Italian in the room as focus turned to Raymond. Easily covering the Italian he called, quickly spotting his mistake.
Dario showed two red aces. For Raymond A-2.
The flop came 9-6-J. Raymond went to shake Dario’s hand but the young Italian politely refused, preferring not to tempt fate before his chickens had hatched – or something like that. A three on the turn, a king on the flop. His aces had held up, doubling him up at the break.
Not so good for Raymond…
“I played bad” he said with a laugh. “I raised 7k – I was trying to steal because I’d been limping all day and they’d been bullying, so….”
It didn’t pay off this time and Raymond takes a hit, whilst Dario Minieri continues his climb up the chip list as play pauses for 60 minutes.