Prague open for business as Brussianos takes early lead

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Day 1A at EPT Prague had all the hallmarks of a bog standard Monday. Like returning to the office at the start of a new week, today's field had what was the poker equivalent of a nine-to-five shift, a long uneventful slog.

With the weekend now gone, the only reminder being a bar bill and an empty packet of liver salts, it was time to get back to business. Tournament Director Thomas Kremser wanted nine levels and some action - double ups or the door- and as the boss that's what he got.

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The Prague Hilton

If some were destined for the boot today it was not chip leader American Elias Brussianos and second placed Nicolas Babel from France. They bagged up 199,600 and 191,200 at the close, narrowly ahead of third placed Ruslan Prydryk with 181,800.

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Chip leader Elias Brussianos

Today 191 players sat down to play and 106 would ultimately depart, including Jeff Sarwer and Sorel Mizzi, as well as former winners Arnaud Mattern and Jan Skampa; let go if you like, shown the door while several hundred other players interviewed for their now vacant positions in a super satellite a few feet away.

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Season four winner Arnaud Mattern

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Season six winner Jan Skampa

But meeting Brussianos at the water fountain on Day 2 will be the likes of Kevin MacPhee, Anton Wigg and Martin Kabrhel, each of whom worked through their Day 1A in-tray, among the 85 to do so, who will look to improve when they return. Also back will be Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki and no stranger to a day at the office, Friend of PokerStars Pierre Neuville.

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Kevin MacPhee

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Marcin Horecki

They now clock out, making way for a new, much bigger shift, featuring such employees of the month as Liv Boeree, Johnny Lodden, Martin Hruby, Marcel Luske, Michael Keiner and Theo Jorgensen. You won't want to miss it.

Until then chip counts can be found here and you can catch up on all the action from the day on the staff bulletin board, or at the links below:

Level 1 & 2 updates
Level 3 & 4 updates
Level 5 & 6 updates
Level 7, 8 & 9 updates

Play continues tomorrow when the Day 1B field takes a seat at the Prague Hilton. All that's left to do is to thank our foreign bloggers, yes, still foreign after all these years, who typed for what all we know could have been instructions for flat pack furniture, in German, Dutch and Italian. Our thanks also to photographer Neil Stoddart.

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Chips, chips

We'll be back at 12 noon local time on Tuesday. Join us then.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour