Day 1b Completed
Day 1b Completed
European Poker Tour Prague has been around since way back in Season 4 of the PokerStars EPT, but it's never been quite this big before. With a monster Day 1b turnout of 934 players added to the 244 who fired on Day 1a of the freezeout, the turnout has been pushed to 1,178, besting the 1,107 who played in 2014.
And there's still time for more. The final event in the history of the EPT will keep registration open until Day 2 kicks off Thursday at noon local time.
Day 1b saw another eight levels of play, and this time, little-known American player Ronald Morandini emerged as the chip leader with a late surge that pushing him to 237,400. That's good for the overall lead ahead of Day 1a star Henrik Hecklen. Matas Cimbolas (215,100), Anton Petrov (214,800) and Maxim Lykov (180,400) also finished with heavy bags. A pair of former EPT Prague champs, Ensan Hossein (2015) and Roberto Romanello (2010) also made it through.
Others among the 474 who punched Day 2 tickets were Ari Engel, Patrick Leonard, Mustapha Kanit, Philipp Gruissem, and PokerStars-sponsored players Felipe Ramos, Fatima Moreira de Melo, Luca Pagano, Vanessa Selbst and Gabriel Nassif.
William Kassouf, whom the ESPN TV cameras made a star or a villain at the World Series of Poker, depending on one's point of view, was among the Day 1b runners who weren't so fortunate. Kassouf tried to get his table talk game going but never seemed to be much above the starting stack. Down to just over 10,000 at 250/500/75, Kassouf got it in with and found himself staring at an opponent's tens.
"Nine high like a boss," was one of Kassouf's catch phrases on camera, but it did him no good in this instance when he merely paired a nine and busted out against the tens.
Other notable Day 1b eliminations included Oliver Price, Andrey Zaichenko, Antoine Saout, Max Silver, Gaelle Baumann, Sebastian Pauli and Benny Glaser.
When the Day 1a and Day 1b survivors combine at noon, there will be 591 runners remaining plus whatever players elect to enter the tournament at last call. More EPT action is on tap for Thursday, and PokerNews will again be your source for live coverage.
|Kristof de Bruycker||143,900||143,900|
|Ofer Zvi Stern||105,200||105,200|
|Benjamin Pollak||partypoker Sponsored Pro||102,300||32,300|
|Felipe Ramos||GGPoker Ambassador||94,500||37,500|
Kristen Bicknell was facing a sizable wager of 27,000 from a player in the cutoff on a board of when we got to her table. After thinking for about three minutes, she finally decided to fold and preserve her remaining stack of around 40,000.
Bicknell comes into the event on a hot streak after claiming her second bracelet and almost $300,000 in the summer's World Series of Poker and following that up with a third-place finish at WPT DeepStacks Montreal for nearly $100,000 more.
|Kristen Bicknell||partypoker Ambassador||39,100||-4,900|
We are now on the final few hands, however, just before that was announced Ari Engel tanked for several minutes on a board facing a bet of 11,500 with about the same in the pot.
Several times it appeared he was about to toss in his cards. He asked how many chips his opponent had, which was a stack of around 11,200.
Ari eventually called with and caught his opponent who was bluffing with on a busted straight draw.
Gabriel Nassif got the last of his chips in with and was up against a player holding . The board ran out clean for Nassif and he doubled up past 25 big blinds and back to a workable stack.
At the next table over, Brian Roberts is looking for a double of his own. He jammed in one hand to steal the antes and blinds but remains dangerously short-stacked.
At this late stage of Day 1b, American Ronald Morandini appears to be in the chip lead with about 260,000. If the hand we saw is any judge, he's not been afraid to use his stack to bully opponents. Morandini raised to 3,100 after the player in the small blind completed and followed up with a continuation-bet of 3,700 on the flop. That was enough to get a fold and earn the pot for Morandini.
In about 15 minutes, the floor is expected to announce the last hands of the day. Here is a look at some of the chip stacks of some of the players still in today's field.
|Fatima Moreira de Melo||32,200||-800|
Ari Engel explains a hand from the Seminole Hard Rock and shares, "what all the cool kids are doing."