Daily 3-Bet: PA + JJ 4 Ever, Piqué v. Neymar, Who is Zvi Stern?

Still the best footballer/poker player.

The PokerListings Daily 3-Bet is a missed offside, a bon mot to the ref and a sudden window to take an afternoon poker news holiday.

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Today in the 3-Bet we find the return of two of poker's all-time greats, two football icons square off for bragging rights and more on "mysterious" November Niner Zvi Stern.

1) Antonius, Juanda Stacked for Day 2

Welcome return of JJ.

Two names poker fans should be thrilled to see near the top of the chip counts after Day 1a of the EPT Barcelona Main Event?

Patrik Antonius and John Juanda, who both quietly moved up the leaderboard to head into Day 2 tomorrow with healthy stacks.

Mostly it's just great to see they're both alive, well and still play poker.

It seems like an eternity since we've seen two of poker's most iconic names at the tables as both have moved in different directions over the past couple of years.

Antonius' last live cash is listed as Feb. 2014 at the Aussie Millions.

Juanda, in fact, says he hasn't even played poker in a year:

Here's hoping both go deep in Barca and find some more time for the tables. They've been missed. Even better let's hope either Antonius (103,800) or Juanda (89,300) or both see some time on the live stream feature table tomorrow.

2) Piqué Outlasts Neymar Jr's Wild Ride

When FC Barcelona and Spain National Team centre-back Gerard Piqué steps into a poker room he's usually  - by far - the best footballer/poker player in the room.

Wild ride ends for Neymar.

Not today in Barcelona. Piqué's much-adored Brazilian rival and FC Barcelona captain Neymar Jr. also happened to be in the room to bump Piqué down a peg on the media-frenzy scale.

The fact they were playing a 25k buy-in was pretty cool in its own right but to up the stakes even further the two also apparently had a last-longer bet.

How much was it for? That we don't know but we can assume locker room bragging rights were the overwhelming motivation. You can only put so much money in your wallet, right?

With far more poker experience under his belt Piqué was the obvious pick and that held true to form as Neymar, despite a wild and occasionally successful ride, busted first.

Just goes to show the old maxim is true: Defense wins championships. More details from the PokerStars blog here.

3) Zvi Stern Flew Home, Flew Back for Main Event

We wouldn't go so far as to call him a "mystery man," as Forward.com called him in a new profile.

Zvi Stern3
The mysterious Zvi Stern.

But it is true we don't know too much about 2015 November Niner Zvi Stern - even after we met with him for a video interview the day after the Nov. 9 was set (he asked if we wouldn't post the video and we respected his wishes).

Second in chips coming into the final nine, though, he could very well be poker's next World Champion, which might change the interview stakes a bit come November.

Declining a telephone interview with Forward Stern did agree to an email Q & A which was published this weekend. Some interesting points of note:

  • He's an unmarried software developer from a Tel Aviv suburb
  • Says he's “coming at it a bit like a Little Leaguer who suddenly gets to pitch in the majors,” but that he trusts himself.
  • He was in Vegas and played a smaller WSOP event, flew home, then changed his mind and flew all the way back to play the Main Event
  • He said he plans to practice by playing against friends in Israel and watching videos of himself and his opponents

More on Stern from our November Nine bio here.

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