Amassing a stack worth six figures on Day 1 of any EPT is a great accomplishment, and Italian player Samuele Grassi managed to do just that halfway through the second level of the day. Now, just two hours later, he finds himself on the rail in disbelief at his luck.
Grassi - loud but polite - complained about his luck as he shook hands with the other players at the table before exiting the room.
Ten minutes earlier we arrived at Grassi's table, with about 45,000 chips in front of him, while Team PokerStars SportsStar Fatima Moreira de Melo and Huidong Gu were tangled up in a pot.
Moreira de Melo had raised before the flop, and after receiving two calls, the flop brought out . She bet 900. Only Gu called, and the turn brought the . This time, the former Olympic field hockey champion bet 2,500 and Gu raised it up to 7,000.
Moreira de Melo went into the tank for a while before calling, and the completed the board. Moreira de Melo checked to Gu, who thought for a bit before checking behind.
In frustration of Gu's check, Moreira de Melo tabled for quads, and Gu smiled, very pleased with his check.
"Jacks," Gu said, and Moreira de Melo cried out the ace was the worst possible card for her.
The atmosphere at the table was very jovial, as everyone laughed with Gu continuing to talk.
On the very next hand, things quieted down a bit when Moreira de Melo raised to 500 under the gun and James Akenhead called. Gu three-bet to 2,100 from the hijack and Grassi called from the cutoff. Both Moreira de Melo and Akenhead also called to create four-way action.
The flop brought out the , and the action quickly checked to Grassi, who bet 3,700. Moreira de Melo called, and both Akenhead and Gu quickly folded.
On the turn, both players checked. The river completed the board with the , and Moreira de Melo lead out for 7,500. Grassi tanked for a bit, but eventually he made the call.
The Dutch player revealed , and Grassi was far from happy yelling, "I flopped two pairs!"
"My tournament is over now!" Grassi yelled. "All I do is push or fold."
Grassi went on to rattle off all the hands he lost in the last two levels, and Moreira de Melo smiled saying, "I'm just lucky."
"I'm lucky in life, but not in poker," Grassi responded, still sitting with 23,000 chips.
Two hands later, a player limped and Grassi moved all in right away.
"Blind!" Grassi yelled. "All in blind!"
"No look!" Grassi continued, keeping his cards covered by some chips.
Moreira de Melo gave it some thought, but she ultimately folded, and the limper called right away.
Grassi's opponent showed , and the Italian player revealed the followed by the . His opponent burst out in laughter.
"You f*** face!" Moreira de Melo laughed, "You f*****."
Grassi played up his innocence, as a large crowd gathered for the all-in showdown.
The flop brought out , and the intensity grew, as Grassi flopped a set versus a gutshot straight draw.
Gu - excited for Grassi - went in to hug and congratulate him, "You win!"
"Don't touch me!" Grassi yelled, "You are unlucky."
The turn brought the , and Grassi's opponent filled up his straight.
"I told you, Don't touch me!" Grassi cried out, as Gu watched his neighbor's stack evaporate.
The river was the meaningless , and Grassi was left with just 1,300 chips, which he lost on the very next hand.
Grassi's EPT Grand Final roller coaster ride ends in the fourth level, and with that, peace and quiet returns to Table 25 in the Salle Des Etoiles.