Day 1 Completed
Day 1 Completed
The opening day in one of the last major events of the 2019 PokerStars EPT Prague festival has come to an end after a full day of poker. The €10,000 EPT High Roller kicked off today with a strong showing of 245 entries being recorded. Topping the star-studded field and the 117 survivors at the end of the day was Omar Lakhdari who bagged up a stack of 330,000 chips.
Lakhdari emerged as one of the chip leaders in the middle of the day and held on throughout to bag up the biggest stack. Lakhdari has mostly made a living off playing in smaller stakes tournaments but enjoys testing himself against some of the best in larger events from time to time. He will be looking for a deep run here to surpass his largest career score of just over $100,000 in order to add to his already impressive $1.7 million in career earnings.
Following not far off in the distance is a man who is very well known not only in the poker world but especially in the high-roller fields. Sam Greenwood made a late rally in the last couple of levels to finish with a stack of 304,000, good enough for second on the leaderboard. Greenwood is coming off a victory in the €25,000 Single-Day High Roller and another strong finish in this event would put a bow on 2019 for the Canadian.
Action from Day 1
The cards went in the air with roughly 30 players taking their seats after a slight delay. That number continued to grow throughout the 10 levels on Day 1 with registration open the entire day. By the day's end, a total of 245 entries were tallied with a single re-entry option available for those that were eliminated.
Some of the early notables to take a seat included Stephen Chidwick, Adrian Mateos, Timothy Adams, Jimmy Guerrero, Conor Beresford, Ben Heath, and Parker Talbot. In fact, all of those players happened to land at the same table. It was deemed the table of death in the early going until some of them busted and some were moved away. Those that finished the day on that table were Adams (93,000), Mateos (29,500), and Beresford (104,500).
Jun Obara jumped out to an early lead before the dinner break rolled around and it was all thanks to Laszlo Bujtas. The two tangled in a massive pot that saw Obara eliminate Bujtas only to have the Hungarian re-enter and draw the same table. Soon after, Obara scooped another healthy pot off Bujtas to climb well over 200,000 chips and sit at the top of the leaderboard. Obara put it in cruise control from there and finished the day with 282,500 chips.
When the players returned from their dinner break, it was Michael Soyza who started to make a push for the top stack. He found himself on the right side of a cooler when he woke up with pocket aces against Steven van Zadelhoff's pocket kings. All of the chips didn't go in until the river but Soyza still managed to get the maximum value. He also picked off a bluff from Anatoly Filatov shortly after but fell short of the lead with 211,500 chips.
Some other big stacks to keep an eye on heading to Day 2 include Dimitar Danchev (264,000), Pavel Plesuv (251,000), Ben Heath (222,500), Uri Reichenstein (221,000), and Ludovic Geilich (202,000). The list could go on and on with the quality that this field has produced and it will be a tight race to get into the money when the action resumes on Day 2.
The day wasn't so kind to everyone including last year's Main Event winner Paul Michaelis. Although the German just captured another title last night, it wasn't meant to be today as Michaelis burned through both of his bullets. Some others that came up empty-handed include Chidwick, Bujtas, Ramon Colillas, Niklas Astedt, Juha Helppi, William Kassouf, and Kenny Hallaert.
Players will still have the opportunity to enter prior to the start of Day 2. The cards will go back in the air at 12:30 p.m. local time with the blinds resuming at 1,000/2,000 and a 2,000 big blind ante. Another 10 levels are on the schedule for tomorrow with the champion being crowned on Day 3.
The PokerNews live reporting team will be back to bring you all of the live updates from the tournament floor.
|Parker Talbot||PokerStars Ambassador||160,500||99,500|
The clock has been paused with 10 minutes remaining and each table will play five more hands before the bagging and tagging process begins. A full recap and chip counts will be posted shortly.
Defending champion Henrik Hecklen was recently seen making his way into the tournament area and had appeared to have lost nearly half his stack before a recent hand where he three-bet all in for 28,400 in the big blind over a hijack open to 4,000 from Daniel Habib. Habib called and the two were off to the races.
The flop came to give Habib four more outs at a gutshot straight draw and it was followed by the turn coming , bringing even more outs to both a flush as well as a counterfeited two pair. However, Hecklen faded it all when the river hit the felt to earn him the double, leaving Habib shaking his head in amazement at the runout.
"That's a classic case of having too many outs on the turn," said another player as the dealer confirmed Hecklen's stack and Habib paid sent the chips Hecklen's way.
Masato Yokosawa opened to 3,200 under the gun and action made its way around to Fahredin Mustafov, who defended his big blind.
The flop came and Mustafov checked. Yokosawa made a continuation-bet of 2,600 and Mustafov thought for a chunk of his allotted shot clock before putting in a check-raise to 9,000. Yokosawa took about 10 seconds to consider his decision and then sent his cards to the muck, resulting in the pot being sent Mustafov's way.
After winning the pot, Mustafov finds himself with a stack of 100,000, slightly above the average stack on the last level of the night.
Picking up the action on the flop with the board reading , there was already nearly 40,000 in the middle. Omar Lakhdari led out with a bet of 22,000 from the small blind and Gaelle Baumann shoved all in for 61,700 in the hijack.
Lakhdari asked for a count and went into the tank for a minute but eventually decided to send his cards to the muck. It sounded like he asked Baumann in French if she was bluffing but Baumann just laughed.
There was a raise from the cutoff and Sam Greenwood three-bet to 11,500 from the small blind. The cutoff called and the two players saw a flop of . Greenwood led out for 7,000 and his opponent called to see the on the turn.
Greenwood checked this time and his opponent checked it back. The completed the board and Greenwood checked again. His opponent tossed in a bet of 25,000 and Greenwood snapped him off. His opponent showed while Greenwood rivered top pair with .
Milad Oghabian got the last of his chips in from early position after seeing a flop of in a four-handed pot. He received action from Pierre Calamusa, who was in the hijack.
Oghabian's flopped two pair were in trouble against Calamusa's set, needing to hit running sixes to improve to quads or to see the board bring a straight to force a chop. The turn dashed all the hopes of either happening and the river completed the runout to result in Oghabian's elimination from the tournament.
"I had queen-ten!" said Bhavin Khatri to Calamusa after check-folding it from the small blind.
Calamusa engaged, saying that Khatri should have committed his chips.
"I would have won!" said Khatri. Calamusa laughed, conveying that he was aware of such facts as he stacked his newly-acquired chips.