A few things are certain on the European Poker Tour. Someone will always win, someone will always lose, and someone will always smoke in the toilets. The only question is who will fill these positions – apart from the man smoking in the toilets obviously. That’s Filippo Bisciglia.
Today is the day that some of those vacancies are filled. While we won’t find a winner they’ll certainly be a few considering themselves to be losers, eliminated from the Main Event in that twilight phase just before the money.
Some look ready for it, confident, poised. Others look like they will spend the next hour perched on a knife edge, trying not to fall off.
Not so Jeffrey Hakim. Wearing a t-shirt that says “I write my own story”, the stubbled pro shares a table with Aku Joentausta, Mathew Frankland and Olivier Busquet, who when at work shares the same look of unwavering determination.
Jeffrey Hakim writing his own story
Elsewhere the knife-edge players are making themselves obvious. From across the room came the noise of one player doubling up, identifiable by the short, staccato words he spoke at volume, like a man scolding a dog.
There’s also further proof of the untested theory that people dress better as they advance further in a tournament. With the chances of their having their picture taken dramatically increased, fresh, neatly pressed clothing appears. Even hair is neatly coiffed.
None of which will matter when the bubble bursts later today, when the lacquered hair on those nursing short stacks will suddenly unfurl. Only 79 players will be paid today with the rest leaving with nothing to show for their efforts, players who, in Sanremo you often hear before you see them.
There are positions to be filled this afternoon. And while Bisciglia’s might be in the toilet, the next level will determine who will fill the others.
Full coverage of EPT Sanremo is on the main EPT Sanremo page. There’s hand-by-hand coverage in the panel at the top and feature pieces below.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.