EPT Prague: Wall to wall on day 1b
As far as Christmas tourism in the Czech Republic goes, Prague is the main nerve. A superhighway of anything festive packed into the biggest Christmas market in Prague, running across ‘Staromestske namesti’ in the old part of town.
Everything festive is on offer, food, drink, trinkets and more drink. Kids queue for hot dogs and sweets, whilst their parents happily do the same for the first of the day's glugs of mulled wine. It keeps the cold off the bones and is worth waiting for. I joined in for research reasons, handing over my 45 Crowns for a plastic cup of warm wine. My attempts at a few Czech words missed their target and I walked away no doubt leaving the impression I was a simple English tourist out for breakfast.
But it was still a jolly site with the centre of Prague a mixture of old and new, a multicoloured combination of elaborately decorated exteriors housing fashionable stores inside that sell expensive things. It’s cold walking around, but the wine helps.
Back to the poker and a heavy bias in starting numbers today with over 320 registered to play so far thanks to a late surge in registrations overnight. Gone are the cash tables with the whole of Congress Hall given over to tournament play, all of which is about to start.
Among those here today are EPT Dublin runner-up and youngest poker legend Annette Obrestad, Barny Boatman of the Hendon Mob, perpetual cash finisher Jan Sjavik, EPT London winner Joseph Maouaed, William Thorsen looking for EPT success and Irishman Peter Roche as well as Team PokerStars Pros Luca Pagano, Dario Minieri, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier and Sebastian Ruthenberg.
We’re moments away from starting. Tournament director Thomas Kremser has his warm up music blasting the p.a. a theme tune that most can’t quite put their finger on, but I think is from the rally scene towards the end of the film Major League.
That done we’re ready to start. The same eight levels as yesterday, ten handed to start, nine handed as soon as possible, and all for €5,000.