EPT Prague: Nothing taken for granted on day three

Yesterday we watched as 160 players were sent from Congress Hall empty handed but for a story from the EPT Prague. We also saw the first 24 of 56 cashees were paid out. Interestingly of those 24, 20 experienced an EPT cash for the first time with only Magnus Petersen, Cristiano Blanco, Nicolai Vivet and Michael Durrer having cashed before (three cashes in season 3 for Durrer).

To some people elimination might mean a trip into the centre of Prague, a walk through the old town square perhaps, along the cobbled streets, or a tour of one of the many churches, monuments or an amble down the river. There’s plenty here. One feature of the Prague skyline it the TV Tower. Like something designed by a man in the middle of a horrible dream, it features a large spike reaching for the sky with babies crawling up and down the sides. The kind of image that can keep you up at night.

TV tower complete with babies (faint black spots) on the horizon

Nightmares may not be far from what some experienced last night. More than one player left the tournament arena yesterday mumbling something, proclaiming something, or screaming something. The wrong card falls and the image will stay with you, burned into your memory forever. Perhaps a day in bed would be better than going outside?

But no one can feel too comfortable, even today. Steven Devlin felt the full force of ‘what the hell happened!?’ yesterday when he went from first to last in the space of half a day. Team PokerStars pro Katja Thater found everything over in an augenblick, whilst Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier started well, middled well and ended badly, out before the money.

But for our type of people, the poker hardcore drunk on the whole EPT experience, there is no option of relaxation. It will be a day spent on the rail, neck craning for a glimpse of a shown down hand and trying to recreate that parallel universe where there hopes of tournament glory didn’t end so tragically.

As far as PokerStars qualifiers are concerned seven are still in the tournament. Chief among them is Jose Navarro, the shaggy looking Spaniard gradually built a colossus stack yesterday, stacked as neatly as his hair, but with a destructive force that registered on the richter scale.

PokerStar qualifier Jose Navarro

No one is safe, which is what makes it all so interesting. Christer Johansson is still in running to become only the second combined WPT/EPT winner, whilst Monte Carlo runner-up Marc Karam could still win his first elusive EPT. No room for complacency though. It could be a short day it could be a long one. We’ll soon find out as the pre-tournament music fires out over the pa.

Here’s a reminder of how things stand:

Dagomir Palovic – Slovakia – 357,000
Adrian Koy – Germany – 345,000
Mikael Norinder – Sweden – 343,500
Jose Luis Navarro – PokerStars qualifier -- Spain – 316,000
Luis Sevilla – Spain – 307,500
Adrian Schaap – Holland – 236,500
Kristian Kjondal – Norway – 234,000
Thierry Labat – France – 226,000
Arnaud Mattern – France – 220,500
Sebastian Zink – PokerStars qualifier -- Germany – 210,000
Tommy Pavlicek – PokerStars player -- Canada – 203,000
Mike McDonald – PokerStars qualifier – Canada – 187,000

Marc Karam – Canada – 171,000
Christer Johansson – Sweden -- 157,500
Steven Vollers – Holland – 155,500
Juha Lauttamus – Finland – 154,500
Markus Golser – Austria – 148,000
Luigi Rizzi – Italy – 146,500
Nikolas Liakos – Sweden – 140,000
Anthony Phillips – PokerStars qualifier – UK – 137,500
Nedzib Suman – Sweden – 137,500
Gino Alacqua – Italy – 135,000
Iliodoros Kamatakis – Greece – 130,500
Paul Gormley – Ireland – 130,000
Johannes Strassmann – PokerStars player – Germany – 109,500
Frantisek Striz -- Czech Republic – 94,500
Nicky Goodall – PokerStars player – UK -- 91500
Thomas Brolin – Sweden – 90,000
Mikkel Madsen – Denmark – 82,000
Cyril Bensoussan – France – 59,500
Oskar Silow – Sweden – 53,500
Mikael Nordin – Sweden – 40,000

Don’t forget to check out the EPT video blog throughout the day for news, features and interviews from around the EPT Prague. Click here for more details.

Jose Navarro picture (c) Neil Stoddart
Brad Willis
@BradWillis in