EPT Berlin: Stefan Huber leads chase for €1 million
There was a long line for the side events today. Getting into and out of the Grand Ballroom was a tricky process, much of it spent weaving in and out of poker players waiting in line to acquire a precious seat. It was as if there was nothing to see or do beyond the front door of the Grand Hyatt; no Tiergarten, no Potsdamer Platz, no Brandenburg Gate.
But if organisers had underestimated the numbers they could be forgiven for not taking into account just how this panned out today. Suddenly a lot more players were wanting side action, most casualties from what was one of the deadliest days of EPT poker.
No need to check back whether this set any records, the facts speak for themselves - we started with 484 players and seven levels later had just 124 remaining. Leading them was Stefan Huber from Switzerland.
Huber triumphed where so many failed and so quickly. Even the bubble boy, Konstantinos Nanos, had hardly any time to realise he'd be going home empty handed. What is often a finicky hand-for-hand slog flashed by like subliminal advertising, so quick that no one really saw, although everyone knew they'd seen something.
With little time to learn the name of the player sitting next to you, Huber played with blinkered determination, the hallmark of a good leader, bagging up 1,087,500. Behind him, by some way, were the likes of Team PokerStars Pro Johannes Strassmann on 794,500, Rehne Pedersen on 770,000 and another Team Pro Jude Ainsworth on 720,500.
Julian Thew joins him tomorrow with 421,000, at one point today down to 16,000, as do Vlad Zguba (496,500) and the mighty Thorson of William (432,500). Ben Kang not only survived, but did so with a certain degree of panache (straight flushes and tossed coins) bagging up an unlikely 166,000 tonight.
For much of the day George Danzer finessed his way to a big stack before nature's unseen forces turned against him, sending him to the rail with just minutes to go. Vicky Coren at least didn't have to suffer as long, exiting earlier this afternoon. The same fate met Boris Becker several levels later.
You can find a full run down of all tonight's chip counts, featuring the plummet of Kfir Yumin and the eighth EPT cash of Joao Barbosa on the chip count page that will be up to date in no time. You can also track the cash finisher on the payout page.
That's it then. We gather tomorrow at noon to do all of this again. Will it be just as fast? We'll wait and see. Regardless of how long it takes we will play down to 24, but if things continue in the same vein as today we should be done and dusted in exactly two hours.
Let's face it, no one really wants to relive every moment of today. But if you've lost control of your senses, have a filibuster to fill, or want to see the One Time Chip at its glorious best, check out the links below for a recap on all of the day's action.
Thanks to Neil Stoddart as always for the photography, certainly not bad for a Kodak disposable, and to our indecipherable friends from Germany, Sweden and Holland who we've been nodding at, convincing them we understand, for three whole days now.
Until tomorrow then, when we play down to 24, it's good night from Berlin.