Brian Altman finished the day as the leader with 704,100 in chips with exactly 200 players advancing to Day 3 of the 2014 PokerStars European Poker Tour Prague Main Event.
The American, who currently resides in Canada, won his seat for Prague in a €320 satellite on PokerStars. The 26-year-old has been to several PokerStars Caribbean Adventures, scoring a min-cash this January, but he rarely competes in mainland Europe. His best live result to date was a fifth-place finish in a Borgata tournament last month.
Gustav Nordh is in second place after bagging up 584,000, followed by Omar Lakhdari in third place with 568,000. Lakhdari, the Frenchman, flew in from final tabling the World Poker Tour National Paris event earlier this week. Stephen Graner, who finished sixth out of 7,977 entries in the Millionaire Maker at the World Series of Poker this summer for $273,854, accumulated 558,200 in chips.
The EPT Prague Main Event closed registration at the beginning of play today and the final numbers were confirmed with a record-breaking 1,107 players. This was made up of 342 entrants on Day 1a, 752 on Day 1b, and 13 who bought in at the start of Day 2, meaning the record for this event was beaten by exactly 100 entries. Those numbers generated a huge prize pool of €5.3 million, and the champion stands to win €969,000. The runner-up will receive €582,720, with third place set to get €410,190.
A total of 64 countries were represented in the field, with 98 players coming from Russia, just ahead of the Germans who were also strongly represented with 94 participants. The United Kingdom maintained last year's third position with 77, meaning all top three standings were exactly the same as one year ago. The home country was represented by 33 players, and 42 out of the 50 European countries had players in the field — a true testament to the widespread popularity of the EPT in its 11th season.
After six 75-minute levels of play, the 600 Day 1 survivors, plus the extra 13 who bought in before Day 2 kicked off, have been reduced to just 200.
One of the first players to fall was Chris Moorman, who had a big stack right up until the end of Day 1b, but was reduced to a sub-20 big blind stack when he ran kings into aces near the close of play. Moorman busted when he opened and then shoved with the over Sergii Baranov’s three-bet with the , and it was all over when Baranov spiked his four on the flop.
Some of the other big names who failed to make it through the day included reigning WSOP Main Event champion Martin Jacobson and Team PokerStars Pros Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Theo Jorgensen, and Marcin Horecki. Also eliminated were Martin Staszko, Kevin MacPhee, Jack Salter, Dermot Blain, and Dimitar Danchev.
Overall though, it was a good day for Team PokerStars Pro. The squad will be represented on Day 3 by Liv Boeree (179,000), Vanessa Selbst (139,000), Eugene Katchalov (116,300), George Danzer (98,700), and Johnny Lodden (56,600). Flying the flag for Team PokerStars Pro Online will be Mickey Petersen (168,000) and Isaac Haxton (66,500).
Some of the other notables who have made it through to Day 3 included Rhys Jones (411,900), Artem Metalidi (357,900), Tamer Kamel (352,900), Simon Ravnsbaek (352,800), Davidi Kitai (342,300), Shannon Shorr (322,200), Mustapha Kanit (322,000), 2013 EPT Prague runner-up Georgios Sotiropoulos (311,800), Thomas Muehlocker (282,100), and Sam Grafton (273,100).
Play resumes Sunday at noon local time with five 90-minute levels scheduled. The PokerNews Live Reporting team will bring you all the drama of the money bubble as only 159 of the remaining 200 players will be paid. That means there will be a bunch of unlucky players leaving empty handed just shy of a min-cash worth €8,970.
Be sure to join us then, and in the meantime check out the following video with Eugene Katchalov: