The standings at the end of the third session
What type of player are you?
3.45pm: Using mobile phones has inserted new a level of behavioral analysis into the game, notably how players are looking at their cards.
Of course, there are no cards in Match Poker. Instead they appear digitally on a small mobile phone kept in front of each player. But, just as some players have unusual ways of checking their cards (almost to a point where no two players are the same), so they also do when it comes to checking their phone.
There are various ways of doing this it seems. There are the texters, like Ana Marquez for instance, who look like they’re sending messages instead of checking their cards.
Then there are the star-gazers, like Cesar Garcia yesterday, who hold their phone above their heads as though checking the structural integrity of the ceiling.
Others hold them at arm’s length, like they’ve left their reading glasses behind, while others cannot disassociate the device with their own mobile and, like all of us, cling to it like a safety blanket (The “OMG-ers”?), fondling its edges waiting for it to bring good news.
Green shoots of recovery?
2pm: Has the damage been done to the UK team? After keeping within the top six ever since the start yesterday the team, led by Barny Boatman, who has proved himself to be among the most analytical captains, has dropped to tenth place in the space of 30 hands.
Boatman, who picked his team specifically for their suitability for the Match Poker format, looked to have got the balance just right. Alas this has been a bad spell. Can they turn things around ahead of the break?
There are green shoots of recovery for the Dutch. Having started the day in last place they scored 104 points in the first 20 hands of the day, more than any other team. It didn’t move them off the bottom, but started their revival, for in the next 20 hands they scored 127 points, the fourth highest of any team. That added enough buoyancy to reach 13th place. More importantly, they’re now only 36 points behind sixth place Poland.
Top six after 167 hands
1st. France — 1,124.5 points
2nd. Ireland — 1,107.5
3rd. Estonia — 1,093.5
4th. Bosnia & Herzegovina — 1,087.5
5th. Serbia — 1,077
6th. Poland — 1,071
1pm: On the live broadcast a short while ago was Rolf Slotboom, captain of the Dutch team which currently rests in last place.
The Dutch came into the European Nations Cup as among the favourites with more than $4.5 million in combined live tournament earnings, not to mention players such as Rob Hollink, an EPT Grand Final winner, and Jorryt van Hoof, who is in a run of form having reached three final tables in the past six months.
But something didn’t work for the Dutch team yesterday. They invested significant time in analysing how they would play but all they could conclude was that it wasn’t working.
But there’s a spirit in the team that will prove harder to dislodge. They intend to put right the mistakes of yesterday and redeem themselves. They know they should be doing better. Today is their chance to show that.
This morning they were once more huddled around a laptop analysing the latest statistics made available to all captains. As Slotboom pointed out, the new scores tightened things up a little in the Dutch’s favour. They are now only 90 points away from sixth place, much better than the 120 points they expected to trail. Of course Slotboom went even further. It may be 90 points from sixth place but that means only 108 points to second. As Slotboom put it, with renewed determination, eyeing a miracle comeback: “Second place is the place up for grabs!”
The current feature table
All to play for as Day 2 gets underway
12.30pm: Welcome back to Day 2 of the European Nations Cup. Yesterday 14 teams played two sessions of Match Poker, the intention behind to position themselves as high up the leader board as they could, leaving themselves the best chance of reaching the Nations Cup Grand Final later this year. To do that they need to secure a top six place, and as the scoreboard below suggests no team is out of it yet.
|4th||Bosnia & Herzegovina||891.5|
As you’ll notice from the scoreboard, there have been a few overnight changes from the provisional scores published at the end of Session 2.
The reasons for the changes are technical. At the heart of the Nations Cup is the technology that tracks every hand, every decision made. The occasional drawback is that slight errors can skew results, which is what happened on one table in the first session of play yesterday. Rather than discount hands that were effected, organizers took the decision to award the affected players the average score for their particular seat.
The result of that was not that significant, no more than a 3 per cent swing (better than most opinion polls). However, it does mean a few changes.
The most obvious one is at the top where the top two teams, Ireland and France, switch places. The United Kingdom, which had originally been in third place, drop down to sixth, while Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Hungary fill the other top six places.
The teams now have two sessions to turn all that around. The most important aspect of the new scores is that the difference between top and bottom is much less, even more so when you consider the difference between last and the all-important sixth place. With that new lifeline in place it might not be unreasonable to expect a few surprises today.
It will culminate with a results ceremony later tonight where the winning team will be announced along with the other qualifying sides. There will also be awards for the Most Valuable Players.
That, however, is some ten hours away or so. First there’s some poker to play. Don’t forget, you can watch all the action “as live” on our exclusive live stream, available at this link, or by clicking on any of the live coverage icons throughout this and subsequent posts.
Live updates from the 2013 European Nations Cup, written by Stephen Bartley.