Thursday, March 17, 2005

Monte Carlo Featured Table Action

I try my best to avoid rampant expression of opinion here. Still, I feel compelled to point this out from the beginning of this post:

Reality TV sucks eggs. Hard boiled eggs.

That is, with one exception. That exception sits just a few feet from my workstation.

There is nothing egg-sucking about televised poker.

Each day, the EPT is featuring one table. Today, it has been exceptionally fun to watch.

It began with Gus "The Great Dane" Hansen, the radiant Cecilia Nordenstam, and "Friends of Bloggers" Patrick "curzdog" Curzio and Scott Bush, Mads Andersen, Luis Jaikel, Kirill Garasimov, and Martin Vallo.

Hansen, a man who can play just about any two cards to success, threatened to be quite a foe.

Nordenstam, despite her disarming beauty, is not one with whom to trifle.

While the action around the room has been very good so far, I decided to sit and watch the featured table for a bit. Patrick "curzdog" Curzio came to the featured table with one of the smaller stacks and looked to double up as early as he could. The players folded around to curzdog in the small blind. When he threw out a raise, I read him for a steal. The bet was just big enough to be fishy. Little did I or his opponent in the big blind realize, that was exactly what curzdog wanted everyone to think. His opponent came over the top all in. Curzio had him covered and immediately called, showing pocket aces. The big blind had KQ and never improved.

Patrick "curzdog" Curzio (left)

The story of the featured table so far has been Scott Bush. The Frequent Player Point qualifier came to the table with just more than 22,000 in chips. While he rarely plays weakly, I expected him to shrink a bit in the face of Gus Hansen. Again, I'm learning to stop expecting things. Bush did the exact opposite, raising and re-raising Hansen at almost every opportunity. Only once in the first level did I see Bush lay down a hand to a Hansen bet, and that was to a check-raise on a raggedy board. On the last hand of the last level, Bush showed down queens on a jack-high board for another big win. Bush is now nearing 40,000 in chips with the blinds at 300/600/75.

Scott Bush

Of course, there is other action around the room. Alexander Stevic, the champion of the EPT Barcelona event, began the day as chip leader with nearly 49,000 in chips. At the first break, he had about the same amount.

Alexander Stevic

In other news, French Open winner Brandon Schaefer has moved up to more than 40,000 in chips. EPT Vienna second place finisher Andreas Harenmo has built up a nice stack as well. Blogger Ben "Milky Bar Kid" Grundy had doubled up twice, taking his small stack and turning it into 20,000 in the first level of the day. And at last report, Isabelle Mercier had turned her 17,000 Day 2 starting stack into 45,000.

I'm out in search of big-stack play.