European Poker Tour Prague Day 1a: Elias Brussianos Leads the First Flight Field

Elias Brussianos

Day 1a of the 2010 European Poker Tour Prague Main Event has ended and the 191 players who exchanged €5,300 for 30,000 in tournament chips were whittled down to 85 survivors. The overnight chip leader with a stack of 199,600 is a Elias Brussianos.

A whole host of well-known players took to the felt Monday including Team PokerStars pros Arnaud Mattern and Marcin Horecki. Among the other 189 players joining them were former EPT Champions Anton Wigg, Kevin MacPhee and the reigning Prague Champion, Jan Skampa.

Mattern won this very tournament back in Season 4 but any hope of a repeat performance this week were dashed within a 20-minute spell in the fourth level. With blinds at 150/300, there was a raise to 750, Mattern called the raise from the cutoff, but the big blind, Ankush Mandavia, spoiled the party by raising the action to 2,325. When the initial raiser folded, Mattern asked how many chips he had left, and as soon as he replied, “12,000 or 13,000,” Mattern moved all-in. Mandavia snap-called and turned over {9-Clubs}{9-Hearts}, which were slightly in front of the {a-Diamonds}{q-Spades} held by the Frenchman. The final board ran out {6-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}{8-Hearts}{2-Hearts}{k-Hearts} and Mattern was knocked down to 12,250 chips.

Twenty minutes later he clashed with Mandavia again, this time shoving over the top of his opponent's reraise whilst holding {10-Hearts}{10-Spades} only to run straight into {k-Clubs}{k-Diamonds}. The {7-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds} flop failed to change anything and when the turn and river came the {4-Diamonds} and {2-Hearts} respectively, it was game over for the popular French pro.

His exit meant the only Team PokerStars players left in the field was Poland's Horecki who was also playing in the Central and Eastern European COOP-05 on PokerStars on his laptop! Horecki finished the day on 88,800 and will be coming back to play Day 2 on Wednesday at noon local time.

Toward the end of the day, a number of players literally went from zero to hero coming from nowhere to finish among the chip leaders. Of those who accumulated massive stacks, Brussianos came out on top with 199,600, closely followed by Nicolas Babel on 191,200 and Ruslan Prydryk who ended the day with 181,800 chips.

A bumper crowd is expected tomorrow, maybe around the 400 player mark, and Team PokerStars pros should be out in force. Listed to play include Johnny Lodden, Marcel Luske, and Liv Boeree. Also playing will be Dag Palovic who will be leaving the tournament looking very different from when he first arrived. He challenged Team PokerStars pro Martin Hruby to 75 $200 Heads Up Sit 'n' go tournaments and lost 38:37, so he has agreed to dye his hair white and have the red PokerStars spade put on the back!

There is still time to play in our final $15,000 Sunday Million Freeroll on PokerStars in the current series, but hurry as you have to qualify this month.

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