The departure of Ilan Boujenah has not eliminated the possibility of fireworks at this final table with Ricardo Ibanez, Spain’s sole survivor, getting involved in some controversial spots. If this was a football match, Ibanez would be featuring frequently on the half-time replays. He is, so far, the only player I can recall to have been given a penalty at a EPT final table. This is how it took place:
Andrei Stoenescu opened to 100,000 from the button and Ricardo Ibanez three-bet to 275,00 from the big blind. Cash game specialist Stoenescu moved all-in over the top for 1,200,000 leaving Ibanez with a tough decision. The Spaniard stacked up the chips to call and pushed them forwards toward the line. Now, for those that haven’t played on the EPT before, there is no ‘line’. The notional demarcation of the table does not hold, it’s all to do with verbal declaration and observed intent.
Ibanez appeared to be making the move to garner a reaction out of his opponent. It didn’t work, Stoenescu didn’t react, or not as far as we could see via the feed. A few more seconds passed and Ibanez made the call with A♦J♠ which failed to connect against Stoenescu’s 10♥10♠. By the time the flop was being dealt the floor staff were conferring over whether a penalty should be imposed for bad etiquette.
“I’m giving a two-hand penalty for the forward motion,” said tournament director Teresa Nousiainen.
Ibanez, who doesn’t speak English, was given the bad news by fellow tournament director Toby Stone in Spanish. Ibanez replied (again, in Spanish) and gestured towards Stoenescu who said: “It’s their rules, it’s not my place but it’s not allowed to do that.”
Ibanez quickly relented, perhaps understanding that what may be allowed in his local card room is not acceptable on this larger stage. It is, of course, possible that he did think that the line on the table was playing. He has picked up some other warnings for excessive celebrations, it could easily be inexperience rather than anything more sinister. We still have time to find out.
Level 27: blinds 25,000-50,000, ante 5,000
Players: 5 of 477
Average stack: 2,862,000
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