EPT Dortmund: Praz off to a flyer
by Simon Young
After a slight delay owing to the usual registration congestion (50 minutes to be precise) play is now well into the first level, with blinds at 25-50.
But despite the huge starting stacks of 10,000, some players are throwing chips around like confetti. One has now left the building, the first of 250 starters, after calling an all in with his 10-10 - only to be met by Praz Bansi's monster A-A. Londoner Praz, who won a WSOP bracelet in last year's $1,000 no limit event, now sits on approaching 20,000 and is one of the early leaders.
Also making an early move is Team PokerStars' ElkY, who has 14,000, while sharing his table is Ireland's Andy Black, on about 13,500.
Steady start: ElkY
Britain's Tony Holden, sporting PokerStars liverie, is also up to 15,000 or so after catching a full house on the river and finding a willing caller.
Catching an early boat: Tony Holden
The huge poker room here is perfect for a tournament of this size, and players are eagerly tucking in to the grub that gets left on little tables next to their chairs at a tummy-bulging rate.
That seems to be of little interest to Sweden's Mats Iremark - winner of the EPT Deauville event last season - who seems to have a new passion for the 80s toy icon, the Rubik cube. When not in a hand, he is furiously twiddling the annoying contraption, trying to make all sides end up the same colour. He's been at it for over an hour now, and progress has been, shall we say, poor.
Puzzling: Mats Iremark
PokerStars qualifier Harrison Williams, the American whom we first met in Copenhagen, is back again in Europe, and survived an early all-in against Sweden's Anders Wijk - not that he was unduly worried as he had the nut flush.
Harrison Williams in Copenhagen
Plenty of big names are keeping out of harm's way in these early tussles, including Johnny Lodden, Dave Colcough and Joe Beevers of the Hendon Mob.
Mobster: Joe Beevers