Tokyo Stadium, contestants' lounge
The crowd erupted in cheers as the winner of the last match stepped out of the ring and the next fighters readied themselves for the next rounds. Hot blood was pumping and the anticipation filled the locker rooms and corridors in the backstage with an electric atmosphere. While some potential champions would be stretching and warming up others could be found going over their strategies, frantically trying to work out any last minute tricks that they could take advantage of. All fighters worth their salt were eagerly, and somewhat nervously, waiting for their turn to step into the ring.
Not Bec though. A small folding table was set up in one of the waiting rooms. Several contestants and tournament staffers were huddled up around it, appreciating another type of showdown. Between the shoving spectators, two men sat across the table facing each other. One of them was a tall and burly man, furling his eyebrows as he looked over his hand of cards, alternating between the money he bet on that game and the smile painted across his opponent's face. The man on the other end of the table was a touch smaller and lacked such an imposing physique yet his expression was a clear indicator of who had control of the situation.
"Come on, ya radian," came the smaller man's voice, denouncing a slight italian accent, "I'd like to get another game in before it's my turn in that ring. Put down more digits or get off my table."
His opponent glared at him, clearly at the end of his rope, and finally threw down the cards in his hand, a trio of jacks.
"I fold, smug asshole..." The spectators let loose their breath, some of them claiming a spot to challenge the italian man that laid down his cards face down on the table, smilling as he collected his money. The loser of the bout grit his teeth and aggressivelly snatched the cards from the table.
"A pair," came an angry shout, "what kind of game do you think you're playing? I had you beat!"
The now richer man looked at him from beneath his hat and simply shrugged, taunting the man with his smile. As the more imposing contestant stood up, knocking down the chair and glaring at the young man, he was quickly but discreetly alerted by the surrounding staffers about his permanence in the building. After murdering the victor with his eyes one last time the burly gentleman turned his back and walked out of the small crowd.
Bec remained in his chair, shuffling his cards and savouring his victory. He would have felt proud of his achievement had it not been the most natural result to come out of the game. Looking towards the clock on the wall he took note of the time left until he would stand up to take part in the tournament. The young prodigy leaned back on his chair patiently waiting for his next victim to sit down across the table.