Day 1a Completed
Day 1a Completed
On Thursday, the European Poker Tour visited Prague – the largest city in the Czech Republic – for the seventh time. Season 10’s incarnation attracted 389 players to the Day 1a flight, but only 210 of them survived the night.
After eight 75 minutes of play, it was Tiberu-Florian Georgescu who emerged as the chip leader with 191,000, though he’s got some stiff competition nipping at his heels in Ari Engel (172,800), Ronny Voth (166,400), and Sebastian Saffari (162,000).
The Prague stop has gotten so popular that for the first time ever the tournament area spilled out of the Hilton Prague’s Congress Hall into the attached lobby area. All told 90 poker tables, 200,000 poker chips, 10,000 player cards and 500m of electrical cabling were used to bring the EPT Prague to life.
In addition, there were plenty of side activities complimenting the Main Event in Day 1a including ice skating, "Time Freeze" technology, a Eureka Poker Tour final table, a Skrill Last Longer Competition, and a big win by tennis star Rafael Nadal in a charity event.
While all of that was entertaining, all eyes were trained on the Main Event, which was full of some notable hands. One took place in Level 4 (100/200/25) on a board reading . A player in the big blind bet 3,000 and was met by an all-in three-bet of 11,000 or so by Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden. His opponent made the call with the for a rivered full house, which bested the straight of Lodden, who became the first Team Pro to fall on Day 1a.
Of course he wasn't the last to go. Among those to fall were Season 7 EPT Prague champ Roberto Romanello; Friend of PokerStars Pierre Neuville; EPT10 Player of the Year contender Kenny Hallaert; Australian Jeff Rossiter; the consistent Dan Kelly; Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody; UK gentleman John Eames; Tim Reilly, who failed to make Day 2 in an EPT Main Event for the first time ever; and Vanessa Selbst, who was fresh off winning the EPT Prague PLO Championship for €107,000.
According to Walid Habib (and the masseuse that was working on him), someone had raised in Level 8 (300/600/75) and Selbst shoved her last 15 big blinds in. Another player woke up with nines behind and made the call. The original raiser folded, Selbst turned over the , and the board blanked. With that, Selbst took her leave in the last level of the night.
While many fell, plenty of notables advanced to Day 2 including Anaras Alekberovas (115,600), Jonathan Little (104,200), Darren Elias (97,200), Michael Tureniec (70,300), Kent Lundmark (67,100), Steve O’Dwyer (60,200), Toby Lewis (44,900), David Boyaciyan (40,500), Shannon Shorr (40,400) and Juha Helppi (34,400).
On Friday, a whole new batch of players will take to the felt in Day 1b action, which kicks off at Noon local time. Of course the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand to bring you all the action and eliminations from the tournament floor.
Level 8 has been paused so each table can play a few more hands before bagging and tagging for the night. We're headed out to the field to catch any last-minute action and compile some chip counts. Stay tuned for those and a full recap of the Day 1a action.
When we arrived we saw Toby Lewis check-call a 3,500 bet from Finish regular Kimmo Kurko on a | -board. Lewis, sitting in the big blind, checked to Kurko again on the -river. Kurko, who was sitting under-the-gun plus one, bet his remaining stack of about 14,000. He was met with a quick call and had to show his first. Lewis knew enough as soon as he saw Kurko's reaction to his quick call, and showed his knowing it was the winner even before Kurko had really shown his hand. Lewis is up to about 47,000 with 25 minutes left on the clock for the day, Kurko is out of here.
Former EPT champion Anton Wigg was sitting on a comfortable stack not too long a go but has zero chips right now. We asked former table mates Mathew Frankland and Olivier Busquet what had happened and they told us the two hands to blame for the early departure of their strong opponent.
The most important hand was unfortunate for Wigg as he made a backdoor flush with on a -board. Wigg's second nut flush was crushed by his opponents and thus the EPT champion had to say farewell to most of his stack. With just 9,000 left, Wigg shoved preflop from under-the-gun plus two. The big blind made the call with pocket eights and didn't get into trouble against Wigg's pocket fours.
Nandor Solyom from Romania opened for 1,200, found a caller in Walid Bou Habib but a shove from Russian PokerStars player Viacheslav Buldygin. Solyom re-shoved to isolate and Habib complained that he really wanted to see a flop, flashing his . Solyom commented that he knew he was ahead of Bulygin but behind Habib and tabled his . He was right as a disappointed Buldygin showed . The cards ran out and Buldygin was out.
Rafa Nadal today beat a star-studded line-up in the €100,000 EPT Charoty Challenge to claim his first poker trophy, as well as €50,000 for his own charity, The Good Hand Fund. Nadal beat Daniel Negreanu, football legends Ronaldo and Andriy Shevchenko, and Olympic gold medallists Fatima Moreira de Melo and Alberto Tomba. Read about here at the PokerStars Blog.
Tom Hall had recently joined a new table with a decent stack and was lost in music, oblivious to the speculation at the other end of the table as to what country he came from. The betting seemed to be on some Scandinavian country. Seeing an opponent call down Hall with they could wait no longer and one player finally attracted his attention by wildly waving his arms around.
Headphones off Hall satisfied their curiosity, “England.”
Back on went the headphones, back to the grind.
Vanessa Selbst won more than a €100,000 just this week, but will not cash in the Main Event this year. Selbst had a swingy day which ultimately ended with her busting just a few minutes ago. According to Walid Habib (and the masseuse that's working on him), someone had raised in front of her and Selbst had shoved her last 15 big blinds in. Someone else behind her had woken up with nines and went to battle with her. Selbst turned over but failed to improve.