EPT Copenhagen: Csaba Toth bares his teeth to lead day two
To win a poker tournament, you have to end up with all of everyone else's chips. But you've also got to get your timing right: there's no point grabbing mountains in the early stages only to lose them all a day later. This is a marathon not a sprint.
Day two at EPT Copenhagen proved the tired old adage beyond doubt. The three biggest stacks from day one had been completely disseminated across the tournament floor before even the dinner break of day two. Andrew Pantling, Ilkka Koskinen and Sebastian Ruthenberg, once their owners, were all out before dusk. They peaked too soon.
On the other hand, Csaba Toth (561,900), Fabian Gentile (413,300), Stig Rossen (411,200) and Kristoffer Thorssen (380,400) have timed it better, and they sit atop the overnight leaderboard tonight.
Toth, who went deep at the Grand Final in Monte Carlo in 2008, has had a breakout day today on the EPT. The young Hungarian is the only player to bag more than half a million tonight. Clinging onto them is tomorrow's problem.
Gentile has already had the reporters tapping furiously: he bluffed ElkY out of a pot late in the day and got the Team PokerStars Pro to fold pocket kings. That alone is not a bad accomplishment for anyone; more than 400,000 chips is just the cherry on the cake.
Stig Rossen is already well known in Denmark as a singer. He is a regular on the musical stage across the globe, including a turn in Les Miserables in London. Until today, not many commentators knew what he got up to in his dressing room, however. But it seems he's as at home under casino lights as he is under the limelight. No prizes for guessing where the mainstream Danish press are focusing their flashbulbs this evening.
Thorssen is barely 19, but he is already a legend in these parts. At the Nordic Poker Awards on the eve of this tournament, Thorssen was nominated for three of four gongs on offer, walking away with the Rookie of the Year prize - to add to his first place in the High Roller event of the WCOOP and first place at the Master Classics of Poker.
Thorsson was pretty much unstoppable today - until a late slide. He was the first player through 200,000, then 300,000 and then 500,000, the first player also to need a triple-tier chip-stack. At the end, he bagged 380,400 - and he'll have to make do with that.
Another man who knows a thing about timing is the Team PokerStars Pro Peter Eastgate. He was bang in the right place (Las Vegas) at the right time (November 2008) to earn himself a World Series bracelet that time, and after a typical ice-cold Eastgate show today, he's also high on the leaderboard tonight.
It's still premature to start thinking of an inaugural EPT title for Eastgate, but imagine if he could pull it off in his home city. He's a darling of the Danish media already, but that's Hans Christian Andersen stuff.
But there's a very capable chasing pack. Who's in it? Well, this lot for starters: Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (243,800), Annette Obrestad (107,000), Ricky Fohrenbach (337,600), Roberto Romanello (349,200) and Juha Helppi (126,200). No one shall sleep safe.
The full list of the 79 survivors, and their counts, is over on the chip counts page. (Not featured: Luca Pagano, Dario Minieri, Arnaud Mattern, Ruben Visser, Johnny Lodden and the entire country of Germany, all of whom perished today.)
Tomorrow is tomorrow. I'm guessing it will be snowy and cold, but that's about all we can predict for sure. All the more reason to look back on what happened this evening - at least that much is in the books:
Today's PokerStars Blog has been brought to you by the letters SB (Stephen Bartley), MC (Marc Convey), HS (Howard Swains) and SY (Simon Young). Pictures come © NS (Neil Stoddart). It'll be the same tomorrow. Good night.