EPT Budapest: Preparing for a new adventure

Day two on the EPT, and here are a few facts about today's play, sprinkled with fairly safe predictions:

The remaining players from the two day ones are now merged in the ballroom of the Las Vegas Casino, Budapest. That's a total of 182 in the field, who will hope to play the eight, one-hour levels scheduled for the day. If they do, they will probably be among about 30-40 players surviving to go into tomorrow's day three.

Before that - and possibly sometime later tonight - the cash bubble will burst, leaving us with the lucky 10 percent who will take some money away from Hungary, happy with their week's work. Lucky, yes, but also massively skillful; you don't navigate through a field of this class and quality without knowing what you're doing.

Top of the pile at the moment, as players are taking their seats and the cards are being shuffled, is the Italian player Mauro Corsetti, who has a clear 35,000 more than his closest challenger. But that challenger is arguably the single player you'd like least to be breathing down your neck: the formidable Annette Obrestad. And not far behind her is the EPT Prague champion Arnaud Mattern, and a chasing pack of the highest quality: Sorel Mizzi, Praz Bansi, and the PokerStars sponsored player Johnny Lodden, who is making his usual charge.

Before the day is out, though, there will almost certainly be at least three other names coming from the main bulk of the pack to challenge the very top. Few would bet against either of the Team PokerStars Pros Luca Pagano and Alex Kravchenko being among them. And then there's William Thorson, a short-stack at the moment, but more than capable of the umpteen double ups that will put him back in the mix.

Look out also for the PokerStars qualifiers Dwayne Stacey, Lukas Benkovic and Aditya Agarwal, who are also all lurking with intent.

Sit tight, this will be frenetic.

As always, you can follow all this in Swedish, in German and Hungarian. You can also check out the latest chip counts, and the payout structure.

And then there's always PokerStars.tv, where you can watch all of the action from the video blog team. All of this will be updated throughout the day. In the meantime, here's how the PokerStars players Johnny Lodden and Kara Scott saw it yesterday. They're both back today for more of the same:

Watch EPT Budapest 08:Interview with Johnny Lodden Day 1b on PokerStars.tv

Watch EPT Budapest 08: Interview with Kara II Day 1b on PokerStars.tv

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour