EPT Baden: Voodo works his magic
Voodoo holding firm
Johan Kretz, Voodoo on PokerStars, had what looked like the table from hell when he first sat down. Noak Boeken, Edgar Skjervold, Mats Iremark AND Marcel Luske arrived to keep him company.
But our man from Sweden has not only kept a cool head - he has doubled up after knocking out Holland's Noah in a cracking hand. Noah had A-K and raised, Voodoo - holding J-J - reraised to 1,700. The flop was a dream, K-J-8, giving Voodoo the set.
Noah thought he was ahead and checked, got an 1,800 bet from Voodoo and then re-raised all in. The call was not want Noah expected, and he left feeling as flat as his homeland.
While Skjervold is building nicely, Voodoo seems to be keeping everyone else at the table in check, including Marcel Luske, who is hovering around his 10,000 starting stack still. A gentleman as ever, he kindly counts his chips for me when I walk past.
Elsewhere on the floor, we have a chip leader. Germany's Christoph Haller is up to 40,500.
Most PokerStars qualifiers continue to hold their own. Although we lost Der Springer early (Patrick Grothuesmann), Vesa "vesap" Pitsinki from Finland is sitting comfortably on about 11,000 chips.
Vesa Pitsinki: staying afloat
Although he plays online a lot, this is his first EPT, and he's looking at home. And as a civil engineer, he should be good at building a nice stack.
Across the room is Erwin Fasching, from Austria. He owns a cafe in Vienna, where his wife is now running things while he plays down the road in Baden. "When I make the final table, maybe she will come then," he joked.
Maybe not a joke. He is veteran of live games at the Concore casino in Vienna, and has played stud here in Baden for ten years. He clearly has the game, although he has got some work to do to recover the half of his stack that disappeared in the early levels.
Ara Melikian is making a great recovery after a poor start. The accountant from Seattle has recovered all of his lost chips after falling perilously close to the felt. His saviour was finding A-Q two hands in a row. First he pushed all in, got a caller and his hand held. Then, under the gun he called with the same hand, and doubled up again against a 10-10 when a Q hit the turn.
Meanwhile, PokerStars qualifier PolPolPol - Argyris Argyrou from Cyprus - is enjoying life on about 14,000. He runs a recycling business at home, but there's nothing rubbish about his play.
Argyris Argyrou: Not rubbish