Thursday, February 17, 2005

French Open Day Two begins and Insta-Photo Gallery

Note: I've just received an updated list of today's starters, including nationality. You'll find it in place of this morning's wrap-up at the end of the post

Sometimes on the first day of the tournament, as a player rests her chin on the edge of her chair and ponders a call that will likely insure she'll be in to the end of the hand, she'll think simply, "What do I have to do to survive?"

Now, though, as that player ponders the call again--this time on Day 2--everything changes. Sure, survival is still a consideration, but now there's an added element of ambition. She has surived until Day 2. Now, it's a question of whether she can win.

In the end, the player above decided to fold her pocket tens, sighing with relief when her opponent flashed pocket jacks.

Après-midi? Really??

When I finally escaped the poker room early this morning, a security guard followed me out, chasing me down the hallway. He spoke in French and seemed to insist I understand. I apologized and told him I spoke only a little French. "Un peu," I said, holding my fingers close together.

He spoke no English, so he continued to speak in French. Eventually I understood him to say, "Hotel Normandy." It barely helped that he was making wild hand motions that seemed to indicate he either had some serious shoulder issues or he wanted me to go swimming with him.

Finally, I got it. The door between the casino and hotel was locked and he had to unlock it for me. And he didn't care to go swimming.

Once I made it back to my room, it was nearing 5am and finding no alarm clock, I called for a wake-up call.

"For 1 PM, please," I said, thinking perhaps I should throw a sil vous plait in there for good measure.

The man at the reception desk seemed a bit dubious. "Après-midi?" he asked, seeming to think we had a language barrier to overcome. Après-midi means afternoon, after all.

"Oui, après-midi."

"D'accord. Merci."

I turned on the shower and searched the mini-bar for some juice. The phone rang and it was the reception desk again. And, still, he was doubtful. Something deep down made him call me back to confirm that I really wanted to get up at...

"Treize hours?" he said. The incredulity at the poker lifestyle was just as charming as it gets.

I had to laugh.

Yep. I need a wake-up call for one o'clock in the afternoon.

As a familiar player would remark, "That's poker, baby."


Halfway through Level 10, we have 75 players remaining. Some of the small stacks are strating to fall off. I figure my late afternoon update should provide some idea of who is truly going to be out in front for the race to the final table.

In the meantime, here are a few pictures from the start of play today.

The field thins

Considering a call

A Fishy look

A 'BadGirl' smile

PCA champ, John Gale and his stack of chips

Fellow poker blogger Mike "Lucky Blind" Lacy checking his hole cards. Lacy is a cash qualifer from