Friday, February 18, 2005

French Open Day 3 set to begin

For a period of one hour Thursday night, Bob Coombes was an English destroyer. Like a kid with a video game, he zapped opponents in every way. He did it with big cards. He did it with big draws. When the night crossed into early morning, Coombes sat as chip leader.

Bob Coombes

In just a few minutes, he the rest of the remaining 18 players will come back into this ballroom to battle down to the final eight.

Here's the line-up on this third day of play

Table 1
1--Keith "The Camel" Hawkins--191,500, England (PokerStars online qualifier)
2--Carl Olson, USA--87,500 (PokerStars online qualifier)
3--Eric Vanderburg, Holland--133,000
4--Brandon Schaefer, USA--205,000 (PokerStars online FPP qualifier)
5--Bob Coombes, England--345,000
6--Tony "Tikay" Kendall, England--55,500
7--Mike "Lucky Blind" Lacey--246,000 (PokerStars online qualifier)
8--Luca Pagano, Italy--138,000
9--Peter Eichhardt, Sweden--249,000 (PokerStars online qualifier)

Table 2
1--Peter Dalhuijsen, Holland--172,000
2--Justin Bonomo, USA--105,000 (PokerStars online qualifier)
3--Willie Tann--51,000
4--Mark Ristine, USA--52,000 (PokerStars online qualifier)
5--Jeremy Tuckman--60,000
6--Sami Torbey, France--91,000
7--Jerome Zerbib--99,000
8--Melanie Lofthouse, England--57,500
9--Sam Orams, England--134,500

Mike "Lucky Blind" Lacey (left) and Tony "Tikay" Kendall

Sam Orams (left) and Brandon Schaefer

Justin Bonomo and Melanie Lofthouse

As I type, EPT creator John Duthie is pacing through the ballroom in bath slippers as his crew sets the stage for the the final table. The dealers are counting out the final 18 players' chips. The players are behind two glass doors, eying the chip counts and tapping their feet.

This is such a fun moment. Some of the runners have stacks that teter on the edge of nothingness. Others control pyramids of yellow 1000 euro chips that threaten to tip over and crush the more dainty of dealers.

When we finish this afternoon, we will be left with eight players who will move over to Duthie's stage and play under the television lights.

I'm going to start making my way on the other side of the velvet ropes to get a good look at the tables.

I'll provide info on the unfortunate ten as they leave us.