EPT Prague: Dribbling into the room
Such is the fashion for arriving late to poker tournaments these days that by the time EPT Prague season nine rolls around, the dealers will be passing out cards to empty tables for the first hour or so of play. Today's day 1a got underway remarkably close to the scheduled noon kick-off, and yet on every one of the 30-plus tables there were stacks of chips in front of empty chairs, and television release forms awaiting a signature.
Walking the room moments ago, therefore, became less an exercise in listing the players than trying to predict who might be arriving. We have a list of expected participants, but not all of them are here. Still, at this early stage we can guarantee the following are in attendance on day 1a, studding the field with the usual smattering of stars:
Luca Pagano - Team PokerStars Pro and EPT Player of the Year
Marcin Horecki - Team PokerStars Pro and EPT London final table player
Sander Lyloff - EPT Barcelona season four champion
Johnny Lodden - Online legend and multiple EPT casher
Jose Miguel Espinar - Champion of LAPT Punta del Este
Michael Martin - Reigning EPT London champion
Arnaud Mattern - Defending champion of EPT Prague
Johannes Strassman - PokerStars.de ShootingStar and multiple EPT final table player
Mads Andersen - EPT Copenhagen season two champion
Mike McDonald - EPT Dortmund champion, season four
Mats Iremark - EPT Deauville champion, season two
Also expected, although not yet sighted, is the nine million dollar man himself, Peter Eastgate. The new world champion was due to be in today's field, but having played the APPT Grand Final in Sydney last week, he can be forgiven for postponing his appearance until tomorrow.