Luca Pagano’s presence in an EPT is like a signal that all is well in the world. No disturbance in the force, no glitch in the matrix, no tear in the space time continuum, just the comforting presence of one of the tour’s most consistent cash finishers. You can hark back through much of our EPT coverage since its first season and find something about the Italian – easy to write about for being a decent bloke, and a formidable player to boot.
So it’s hardly surprising that the latest news from the Pagano camp is of steady progress with an up and a down after a couple of hands against German player Christophe Gross.
On a board of [5D]-[4S]-[JS] Gross made it 500 which Pagano called for a [6H] on the turn. Gross then made it 1,150. Pagano, sitting dead still throughout the hand, shirt open at the neck to reveal a gold chain, made the call. A [9S] on the river prompted Gross to move all-in for a little more than 4,000.
Pagano had him covered. The call would leave him with more than 7,000 but he didn’t like the situation, and instead he mucked his hand. But revenge was not long in coming for Pagano.
On a board of [AS]-[5C]-[JS]-[QS] a few hands later the Italian swooped in from the big blind, calling Gross’s bet of 1,025 for a [4S] on the river. The fourth spade made Gross roll his eyes, irked by Pagano’s decision to lead the betting this time having done so himself on every street.
It was 1,100 to the German. Gross thought. Gross decided. Gross called. Pagano showed him the flush; [KS]-[QC]. Gross was beaten and showed his pocket queens out of frustration more than anything. The chips were back with Pagano. Marcel Luske sitting opposite mentioned Pagano had the nuts…
“I’m not playing anything else” he joked.