PokerStars.com EPT Prague, Day 2: Nygard Leads as Bubble Burst
One hundred and seventy-seven players returned to the Prague Hilton for the Main Event of the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour's Prague stop, with Christer Johansson leading the way as the day kicked off. Before the end of the day, more than 75% of the field would be on the outside looking in, as WSOP champs, EPT champs and other notable stars headed to the rail on Day 2.
Among the notable eliminations on Day 2 were Casey Kastle, Christopher Moorman, Gino Alacqua and Steve "allinstevie" Devlin. Devlin's exit came when he raised from the button with , and Rifat Palevic called from the big blind. Palevic checked the flop, and Devlin fired at the pot. Palevic check-raised all in, and Devlin made the call with . Palevic was ahead with , but Devlin had outs to a bigger pair or a flush. The turn was no help as it came down , and the on the river sent Devlin packing.
As play neared the money bubble, Joris Jaspers moved near the chip lead. Jaspers raked a huge pot to vault to the top of the leader board when he sent Sorin Posa to the rail. Posa made top pair, top kicker on a board holding , but Jaspers tabled to bust Posa.
The bubble burst at 57th place, when Erich Kollmann got all his money in with A-Q against Rifat Palevic's pocket kings. No ace showed on the board, and Kollmann was unfortunately the most popular player in the room for a moment. After Kollmann's exit, the pace of eliminations picked up dramatically. As the evening moved into night, Juha Helppi, Alessio Isaia and Johnny Lodden all headed to the rail. Another late elimination was Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri, who got into a raising war with Raul Mestre holding . All the chips went in preflop, and Mestre's needed help to send Minieri packing. He got it in the form of the on the flop, as the board ran out as Minieri went bust and Mestre moved to near the chip lead.
Mestre then further padded his stack in an unusual hand against Juan Manuel Pastor. Mestre raised preflop from the button, and Pastor moved all in from the big blind. As Mestre was thinking, Pastor tabled his cards, showing . The floor was called, and the ruling was made that the all-in move was binding, and Mestre had the option to call or fold, just with more information than he would normally have. Mestre thought for a moment before concluding that he was pot-committed, and he called with . The board ran out , and Mestre made a pair of deuces to send Pastor packing.
As the evening wore on, Fredrik Nygard emerged as the chip leader after taking a huge pot off of fellow big stack Juan Maceiras. The board read when Maceiras made a huge turn bet. Nygard thought for a moment before making the call, and the river brought the . Maceiras bet enough to put Nygard all in, and Nygard went into the tank. After a relatively short time, Maceiras called the clock on Nygard, who called instantly. He tabled for top pair, and Maceiras mucked as Nygard dragged an enormous pot in the closing level of the day.
Nygard and Maceiras finished the day in the top two spots on the leader board, as 32 players survived the bloodbath that was Day 2. Join PokerNews at noon Prague time Friday as the field is whittled down to the final table in the Czech Republic. The top ten in chips:
Fredrik Nygard - 609,500
Ludovic Lacay - 513,000
Rifat Palevic - 368,000
Alexiou Konstantinos - 267,000
Juan Maceiras - 266,500
Dan Pedersen - 260,000
Jonathan Duhamel - 253,500
Manuel Bevand - 248,500
Raul Mestre - 247,000
Daniel Drescher - 224,000