EPT Warsaw: How much?

The good news for each and every one of the 24 players returning to Casinos Poland today is that they are all in the money. The first one out will take the zloty equivalent of €7,038 for their trip to Warsaw, something close to double their buy in for two days' work.

But such is the nature of tournament poker that a walk to the cashiers' cage today will seem like a disappointment. The prize in view is the final table, where more than €20,000 awaits the ninth placed finisher and more than €360,000 the winner. Having come this far, the 15 who must depart will feel as though they're missing the party.

That makes for another tense day on the EPT; only the strongest will survive. With the likes of Dario Minieri near the top of the leaderboard, any nerves are likely to be seized on and weaknesses will be punished.

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Dario Minieri

The PokerStars qualifier Sergey Shcherbatskiy, from Russia, has been flawless and fearless to date, rising to the very top of the ladder and enjoying the final few levels last night with a tumbler of what looked like whiskey beside his moutains of chips.

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The chip-leading Sergey Shcherbatskiy

Today, though, Shcherbatskiy has to deal with the attentions of the chipped up and experienced Scandinavian duo of Uffe Holm and Patric Martensson, as well as the Spanish player Juan Manuel Pastor, enjoying his first appearance in PokerStars colours. Minieri, for his part, shares a table with his fellow Team PokerStars Pro Isabelle Mercier.

Just below the top two are Roland de Wolfe and Arnaud Mattern, both former winners on the EPT and hot prospects to become the first two-time champion. The seat draw has pitched Mattern into the Minieri-Mercier stand off; De Wolfe has the likes of Kevin Macphee and Mika Puro.

Or, to put it another way:

Watch EPT Warsaw 08: Introduction to Day 3 on PokerStars.tv

Play starts in less than 10 minutes. Stay tuned.

The young English player Josh Gould has made it through to day three. Our video blog team caught up with Gould yesterday afternoon, when he was fearing playing alongside Dario Minieri. Bad news for Gould: the young Italian is a table-mate today as well.

Watch EPT Warsaw 08: Interview with Josh Gould Day 2 on PokerStars.tv

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour