The 2015 PokerStars.com European Prague Season 12 festival, which began this past weekend, will feature 97 tournaments at the Hilton Prague. Today, the most expensive buy-in on the schedule, the €50,000 Super High Roller, kicked off as 42 unique entrants took to the felt.
In addition, either reentries were accounted for, to bring the total field size up to 50. With reentires and late registration open until the start of Day 2, that number is sure to go up, and will likely surpass last year's field of 51 entries (42 unique; 9 reentries).
As for Day 1, 33 players survived the night with the Netherlands' Luuk Gieles and his stack of 1.025 million leading the way.
Gieles got off to a hot start by scoring the first elimination of the day. It happened in Level 4 (1,000/2,000/300) when Gieles raised to 5,000 from early position and defending champ Leonid Markin three-bet to 12,000 from the button. With action back on Gieles, he four-bet to 40,000, and Markin called to see the flop.
Gieles checked, Markin moved all in for 125,500, and Gieles thought for a bit before calling with the . Markin was behind with the , and neither the turn nor river helped him.
Markin ended up reentering and finished the night as the second-shortest stack with 76,000.
Of course, not everyone was able to advance out of Day 1. Among those to bust were Yingui Li, Adrian Mateos, Juha Helppi, Henrik Hecklen, Anthony Zinno, and EPT Barcelona champ John Juanda.
Regarding Juanda, he bluffed off a large portion of his stack early on, but managed to work it back up. Unfortunately, his comeback came crashing down in the last level of the night. It happened when Joni Jouhkimainen opened for 11,500 from the hijack seat and was met by a three-bet to 30,000 from Juanda in the cutoff seat. Sylvain Loosli then four-bet to 76,000 from the small blind, Jouhkimainen folded, and Juanda thought for a bit before making the call. When the flop came down , Loosli led out for 42,000 and called when Juanda moved all in for approximately 260,000.
Juanda had the for over cards and a flush draw. Loosli had the and was ahead with his kings, but Juanda was drawing plenty live. The turn was no help to the Poker Hall of Fame member, and neither was the river. With that, Juanda was eliminated from the tournament.
Among those who advanced to Day 2 are Ole Schemion (757,000), Loosli (725,000), Igor Kurganov (666,000), Mustapha Kanit (593,000), last year's runner-up Paul Newey (384,000), and the sole PokerStars Team Pro in the field, Jason Mercier (94,000).
Official numbers and prize pool information will be available when Day 2 kicks off at 12:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday (late registration closes at 12:15 p.m.). Be sure to join us then for all the latest and greatest straight from the floor of the EPT Prague €50,000 Super High Roller.
While you wait for Day 2 to roll around, check out the following "Would You Rather" video with Mercier: