EPT Budapest: Another day is done
Typically day two of a major poker tournament is when the most moves are made, the chips fly in huge flocks from one player to another, and plenty of dreams die. Where there are winners, there must be losers, where there's fortune there's misfortune and where there are headline makers, there are inevitably footnotes. And while there is so much that is inevitable, there is also always something new. We have seen the patterns before but it is the variations on the theme that are most compelling.
Tonight, as they bag up chips for day three tomorrow, we have a new name right at the top of the tree. It's Albert Iversen, from Denmark, who went on a charge in the closing couple of levels to end with 425,000. This next sentence, on the other hand, has been written plenty of times before: PokerStars qualifiers are right up there too. But these players are both new names to reporters and spectators alike: there's the inevitable Scandinavian Martin Jacobson, from Sweden (365,000) but there's also a Slovak, Lukas Benkovic (224,000).
In the hometown hero category, there's Zoltan Toth (175,000). And filling the shoes of the high profile players going into the penultimate day are the Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko (114,000) and the sponsored player Johnny Lodden (131,000).
Notable by their absence from the the final shakedown are two of the tournament's most dominant forces, who were once peering down from the top of the day one counts, but left without a pay-cheque. Neither Annette Obrestad nor Arnaud Mattern could make it into the money, and they were joined on the rail by Praz Bansi, Fintan Gavin, Luca Pagano and William Thorson before anyone started getting paid.
The last player to walk into the Budapest night with nothing was Thomas Vestergaard, who became today's most celebrated yet most unfortunate elimination as he burst the cash bubble.
As the spectators gathered, Vestergaard had the same hand as Christophe Wemelbeke, but Wemelbeke's A-K was suited in clubs and three flopped, which was definitive.
The rash of eliminations that inevitably followed the resounding pop included Sorel Mizzi, Kara Scott and Danny Ryan. And at the end of the day, there were 41 players remaining, who are already guaranteed €6,384 but will be playing tomorrow to get down to the final table and closer to the first prize of €595,839.
Of course, PokerStars blog will be with the action right until the end, and you can also read it in Hungarian, German and Swedish, if you're into that kind of thing. You can always check out PokerStars.tv for your video blogging needs, or you can look back on the day's play with all these shiny hyperlinks to the previous coverage.
Preparing for a new adventure
There's a gambler in town
Around the tables
What is, what could have been
The state of play
Attacking the leader
From all corners
A hundred grand not what it used to me
All ins and eliminations
Prague champion departs
Kravchenko in on the action
It all goes in
The first of the cash fallers
And to round it out, how about the excitement and agony of day two of EPT Budapest in two photographs, modeled by the PokerStars sponsored player Kara Scott.