2017 PokerNews Cup Main Event: Where Amateurs Fight Pros for €200,000!
The cards are up in the air at King's Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, for the second of the four Day 1 flights on the schedule of the 2017 PokerNews Cup Main Event. Players are avidly taking their seats to fight for a chunk of the €200,000 guaranteed prize pool.
With the usual field of King's regulars, wannabe pros, and amateurs looking for a chance to discover what professional tournament poker tastes like, our PokerNews-branded tournament series promises once again to be one of the hottest low buy-in events of the season.
"It's really good to be here," Lithuanian poker pro Vytautas Milbutas (pictured above) shared with PokerNews. "I love when you can get good poker going in a premium location like this one and with a field that is soft and fun to play with at the same time."
In Rozvadov after a trip to Bulgaria where he joined the Cash Game Festival crew in Sunny Beach, Milbutas entered the PokerNews Cup hoping to add a Czech flag to his page on the Hendon Mob.
Sitting 23rd in Lithuania's all-time money list with tournament cashes for more than $175,000, Milbutas is on the right path to reaching his goal as he crashed the first starting flight not only by closing the day with the largest stack and 696,000 in chips, but also by being able to predict the board with an impressive level of 'accuracy'.
"It was funny to do that then [but] I just got lucky. For me it was pure fun," Milbutas commented on the hand.
"For the last three years I've played so many tournaments. I like how I play, but the big thing is that I'm really talkative at the tables. Because of that people tend to underestimate me, or overestimate themselves," Milbutas continued as he unveiled and important part of his poker strategy.
"I Feel Pumped! I Loved The Event!"
Although she did not stay in play long enough to survive Day 1a, German qualifier Sarah Hamid had only positive words about her debut in the world of tournament poker and a fantastic location like the King's.
"I never played live poker at this level before and to be completely honest I was a bit afraid of all the mistakes I could make," Hamid confessed as she sipped a post-bust but well-deserved glass of prosecco.
"I spent the last few days asking for advice to all the people I met and I tried to learn as much as I possibly could.
Everyone I asked for tips here at King's has been great with me. The other players really made me feel welcome, even as a total beginner."
"The players really made me feel welcome, even as a total beginner."
Speaking about the action at the table, she confessed to have loved it. "I am a competitive person and I loved the way the game went on. I also really liked the way people live this event and this incredibly beautiful casino."
"The chatter, the jokes…I don't know if this happens only here in Rozvadov, but I know that I love it and I know this is certainly not going to be the last live event I play."
Unfortunately for Hamid, her adventure in the PokerNews Cup ended when the only other lady at her table, Tonybet Poker qualifier Paulina Rimkute cracked her king-queen right when the tournament clock marked the end of the ninth level of play.
"A bad all-in at the wrong time," Hamid concluded.
Only a few levels later, it was time also for one of the tournament's most familiar faces, Timothy Weltner, to see his Day 1a come to an end.
A true regular at all the past PokerNews Cup events that took place in Rozvadov - where he also won the NLH Opening Event in 2015, Weltner ended his run when an unstoppable Milbautas pushed him out of the Main Event together with local businessman and King's regular, Israel's chiKKita banAAna.
The Day 1a ended at the closure of fifteen levels of play, with only 15 of the 87 entrants still in play and with a seat secured for Sunday's Day 2.
Three More Starting Flights to Go, More Great Tournaments on The Schedule!
While the Day 1a gave everyone a taste of what the PokerNews Cup Main Event can be, there are three more starting flights to go with Day 1c and Day 1d starting Saturday at 13:00 and 17:00 respectively.
Those who want to join the action but don't want to pony up the €250 buy-in to the Main Event can also try to qualify for close to nothing in the €45 Turbo Satellite to ME 1c kicking off at 11 a.m. local time and with ten entries to the Main Event up for grabs.
As usual, the Main Event is not the only tournaments the players in Rozvadov have their eyes on. While the jumbo-sized guarantee on tap makes the Main Event the most popular tournament on the schedule, everyone seems to be waiting for Saturday - when the festival will reach its peak and the Europe's largest poker room promises to be packed.
Right alongside the two final starting flight of the Main Event, King's will welcome the start of other exciting events like a €5,000 GTD pot-limit Omaha tournament at 15:00 and the €20,000 GTD. King's Local Championship accessible for as little as €100 at 19:00.
Things will continue also on Sunday, when another tournament to keep under the radar is the €5,000 GTD. TonyBet OFC Progressive Pineapple, a crazy event that will be reported live here on PokerNews and that is sure to offer a good dose of crazy and fun poker action to all the participants.
To know everything about the action on the tournament floor and to discover all the juiciest hands played during the PokerNews Cup, make sure to follow all the updates the official PokerNews Live Reporting blog.
Be sure to complete your PokerNews experience by checking out an overview of our mobile and tablet apps here. Stay on top of the poker world from your phone with our mobile iOS and Android app, or fire up our iPad app on your tablet. You can also update your own chip counts from poker tournaments around the world with MyStack on both Android and iOS.