Richter scales new heights at EPT Prague


Day 1B has come to an end in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic and one time heart-beat of Bohemia. It's from here that the first Bohemians emerged, travelling through on their way west. The same could be said of Dirk Richter, the surprise leader tonight, taking a week-long stop in these parts before joining the airborne wagon train to the PCA in January.

After yesterday's cookie-cut day at the office, Richter; who bagged up a staggering 296,700 at the close after an aces v kings v nines finale, led a much more relaxed affair that started with 372 and ended with 169 players. While Richter's name might not be the most oft quoted, the field was filled with all the familiar faces that for years now have been embedded in this travelling roadshow.

Roberto Romanello, among those chasing the leader

Among the field were the hardcore advocates of this non-traditional lifestyle; men and women, here for EPT Bohemia, linked in spirit to generations of free spirits before them, each with no ties or obligations, dubious political affiliations, and living somewhere between extreme wealth and involuntary poverty.

Crowds of players

There may not be the beads of the traditional Bohemian way, but the Dandies are here, sparkling in home grown t-shirts at Vegas Mall prices, as well as poker's avant-garde, the likes of Dario Minieri and Laurence Houghton, who today spent much of their time converting non-believers into free-thinking loose-aggressives.

Dario Minieri

You just have to look hard enough to see the cast was all here today.

Marc Gork and his poetry, Marcel Luske and his tweeted shorthand philosophy. While Peter Hedlund was the life of the party, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier floated above everyone, a free spirit on another level entirely.

Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier

Add to that the likes of Liv Boeree and Fatima Moreira de Melo, to whom the men with beards could congregate around. We were an acoustic guitar and some fairy lights away from a bunker in Haight-Ashbury.

Liv Boeree

Fatima Moreira de Melo

So who is still here from that crowd, to be found sprawled on a friend's sofa or sleeping in the bath tub when the sun comes up on Day 2 tomorrow?

Roberto Romanello came close to the lead tonight, and most assumed him to be leading into the stretch before Richter put an end to that. Romanello finished on 196,500, slightly behind yesterday's leader Elias Brussianos, who had bagged up 199,600.

The result puts Richter ahead overall, as the 85 survivors from yesterday merge to make tomorrow's players list 254 names long.

Behind Richter, Brussianos and Romanello is a crowd committed to the cause. Mozen Teyfel (188,900), Laurence Houghton (188,800), Drasutis Narmontas (187,200) and Tobias Reinkemeier (174,500) are all within sight of the leaders and the capable talents of Helen Prager (128,600) and Melanie Weisner (113,700) are not far behind.

Laurence Houghton (left) and Roberto Romanello

Helen Prager

Elsewhere a troop of Team PokerStars Pros will be back for a Day 2 sit-in, including Florian Langmann (90,800), Luca Pagano (68,800), Boeree (59,700), Salvatore Bonavena (55,200), Moreira de Melo (52,200), Michael Keiner (27,900), Theo Jorgensen (18,700) and short-stacked Toni Judet (7,600).

Theo Jorgensen

Along the way we lost many a campaigner. Luske, Minieri (whose ten-hand berserker charge was detailed at 4.55pm in the level 5 & 6 post), and Grospellier all went, as did Johnny Lodden, Ville Wahlbeck, Thomas Bichon, Martin Hruby and Nacho Barbero.

Martin Hruby

All that, and the incidental details in between, can be found at the links below, while chip counts for the day can be found on the chip count page.

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

Play continues tomorrow when the field unites as one for Day 2 at the Prague Hilton. In the meantime allow us to point you in the direction of our foreign bloggers, whoever they are, writing in German, Dutch and Italian. Our thanks also to photographer Neil Stoddart.

Dag Palovic, who lost a prop bet to Martin Hruby, being transformed into PokerStars' customer of the month, earlier today

We'll be back at 12 noon local time on Wednesday. Until then, peace, and good night from Prague.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour