If you wanted to make a joke about German efficiency — as, apparently, is de rigueur when there isn’t a sun-lounger and a towel in sight — you would have had a field day at the start of this last session of the day in the €50,000 Super High Roller.
As the clock ticked down to the start of Level 15, ending the 75-minute dinner break, none of Fedor Holz, Igor Kurganov, Max Altergott or Christoph Vogelsang were back. Prepare weak national stereotype joke…engage: So much for the famed German efficiency, huh, huh, huh. Am I right?
Yes, it’s true: just as the first cards were being peeled off decks on the remaining three tables in this tournament, the bounding locks of Kurganov were sighted bobbing through the crowd to the far corner of the room, alongside the more precise, athletic gait of Altergott.
Holz, meanwhile, was busy high-fiving friends on the side of the rail having showed up about 30 seconds previously, while Vogelsang was ambling slowly and deliberately to his table, without a care in the world.
A change in the rules at the beginning of this season, which means a hand is valid if a player is back in his or her seat when the last card comes off the deck (previously it was the first), meant that three out of four of these players did actually get to see the first hand.
Only Altergott was left remonstrating that it was impossible for him to have missed a hand, but the complaints fell on stony ground and were quickly forgotten.
Regardless of their dinner timekeeping, the German quartet remaining in this event are having a ball. (We’re referring to Kurganov as German, even though he has dual nationality and plays under the Russian flag.) There were 21 players remaining at break time, and four of the top five were German.
This is the kind of dominance we grew familiar with when Tobias Reinkemeier and Philipp Gruissem seemed to live inside the top three of High Roller payout tables, but the baton has maybe passed now to Holz and Vogelsang, via Altergott.
For the sake of completeness, who’s interested in the precise order the Super High Roller players returned to the tables after the dinner break? I can’t see you. Hands up. There. I knew you’d be fascinated.
Well, first up was Mike McDonald, seated behind his stack with fully five minutes on the dinner break still remaining. He was having a nice chat with the dealer. Jason Les was next to arrive, running exceptionally well in his third Super High Roller event. He was the only non-German in that top five.
Stephen Chidwick, last night’s leader, was next through the door. He is no longer at the top of the leader board, but will hardly be disappointed with a stack of about a million. Michael Egan, with close to double that, was next to sit down again.
JC Alvarado ambled next into the tournament area, but did not immediately take his seat. He went through a series of stretches, dancing up and down like a championship fighter, then plunging down to touch his toes repeatedly.
This is boring, isn’t it. Here’s a list: Viacheslav Buldygin, Hassan Fares, Mustapha Kanit, Imad Derwiche, Why Did I Even Start This, Ivan Luca, Sylvain Loosli, Steve O’Dwyer, Still Reading, Byron Kaverman, Paul Newey, Ben Tollrene, Igor Kurganov, Max Altergott, Christoph Vogelsang. Where’s Dzmitry Urbanovich? Maybe I missed him.
The schedule for today shows that we will play either ten levels or until a final table of eight is reached. The latter is practically impossible but the former can be done. Still around for another four hours.
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