European Poker Tour Prague Day 1b, Jude Ainsworth Leads
Although Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier held the top chip count for much of the Day 1b, he was pipped for first place at the last minute by fellow Team Pokerstars Pro Jude Ainsworth, who moves on to Day 2 with 162,700 in chips. Ainsworth, however, is behind the overall Day 1a chip leader Marc Gork (169,200), who is followed closely by French player Rui Cao (169,100).
Other Day 1b players who made it through the day with commanding stacks include Rifat Palevic, Luca Pagano and Antony Lellouche. Day 1a players near the top of the Day 2 pile include Oleh Okhotskyi, Stefan Matsson and Florian Langmann.
Yesterday's Day 1a turnout was pretty impressive, but the field that showed up for Day 1b far exceeded 1a. A final count of 367 runners for the second and final start day of the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour Prague brought the total number of players in this EPT event to 584. This number. which is up from both last year and the year before, has generated a tantalizing € 2,842,000 prize pool.
As so often happens, quite a number of cool kids opted to play Day 1b, and the tournament room was overrun with recognizable faces. ElkY and Darus Suharto started out sharing a table. Next to them, Huck Seed, Sorel Mizzi and Sebastian Ruthenberg were together. And next to them, Noah Boeken, Tristan Clemencon and Julien Brecard were table neighbors.
Scattered across the other side of the room was another gathering of famous players. Dario Minieri, Alex Kravchenko, Boris Becker and Pagano all made it to the gigantic card room, as did reigning EPT Prague champion Salvatore Bonavena.
Young, floppy-haired Benny Spindler had an excellent start but failed to make it through the day when suffered a disaster, which he refused to talk about afterward.
Praz Bansi picked up a decent early stack before he succumbed to his continuing EPT curse and busted out before the end of play. Dario Minieri soon followed, as did Bonavena, Johnny Lodden and Laurence "Riverman" Houghton.
The award for most stylish entrance and exit of the day went to Ilari "Ziigmund" Sahamies, who turned up three hours late and promptly knocked out Carter Phillips.
Sahamies first doubled through Phillips when his A-4 spiked against the latter's A-K, and then finished him off with pocket kings against pocket queens. Sahamies then took a leisurely, unscheduled dinner break before returning to the table where he almost immediately lost most of his stack to the table. He soon succumbed to Kati Jerney who flopped a flush with to outdraw his .
Jerney didn't last the day either, though - she was eventually eliminated by ElkY who in the end lost his chip lead to Ainsworth.
In all, 211 players made it through Day 1b to join the 117 Day 1a survivors.