EPT8 Prague: Garri Tevosov bursts straight to the top
Finding the story of Day 2 at EPT Prague requires a quick mind, an agile grasp of figures that change from one minute to the next, and an ability to be in several places at once. By a cruel twist of fate the blog team have none of these capabilities but the following should capture the main points from a fast-paced and merciless day, one that reduced a field of 407 to 136 in just six levels.
Standing up and waving, trying to catch our attention is Garri Tevosov. Perhaps not Tevosov himself perhaps but his story; a rocket-powered cruise to the chip lead which now belongs in the headlines. He wasn't the first to break the 500,000 mark - that was Mads Wissing - but he was the last to be catapulted into the stratosphere today, a trip that can be divided into two parts.
The first, being one of the main beneficiaries of Andery Saenko's demise (more of that later*) and then sending Kevin MacPhee to the rail when his queens cracked MacPhee's kings. It leaves Tevosov, a Russian Poker Series winner, with 764,000.
In contrast to this was Jude Ainsworth. If Tevosov's path through day 2 was a breeze, Ainsworth's was a fist fight, a Burt Reynolds-bar-brawl type of campaign where the accumulation of chips came first, finesse came second. Moustaches optional.
Ainsworth started well, defying logic by raising anything that moved, and seeing as though that worked kept on with it, a practice that almost meant he would stuff more than 500,000 in used chips into a plastic bag for safe keeping tonight. Instead the fight continued to the bell, leaving him 313,000 to return to.
The other principal players are Wissing, whose slow and steady wins the day approach kept his stack buoyant to the tune of 565,000, behind Martin Finger with 612,600 and ahead of Guillem Cavaller on 557,800.
So while their stacks are in the vault, the stack of Andrey Saenko is in tatters.**
The chip leader overnight took a while to lose it, despatching multiple players in what looked like a continuation of his Day 1 form, even out-sneering countryman Vladimir Geshkenbein at one point to amass close to 400,000 before the wheels fell off and he ground to a halt, eliminated.***
Andrey Saenko in "happier" times
It's a wonder anyone survived such a precarious day but some did. Not local flag-waver Martin Hruby but his cohort Dag Palovic (87,500). Johnny Lodden (74,500) and Liv Boeree (193,600) also return, part of the general shift of players in an easterly direction as empty tables made up the majority of tournament room real estate.
It was in these empty seats where the bulk of the field had once sat, now represented by nothing more than half-eaten sandwiches and empty cans of Skrill energy drink.
The likes of Ville Wahlbeck (studious), Jonathan Duhamel (champion-like), Luca Pagano (plucky), Martin Staszko (discreet), Eugene Katchalov (solid), Theo Jorgensen (nautical), Pat Pezzin (hard working), Lex Veldhuis (angular), Bertrand Grospellier (renaissance) and Fatima Moreira de Melo (scrappy), all departed today.
Eugene Katchalov (left) and Mike McDonald
Those not in the PokerStars livery were not immune either. Gus Hansen put up a good fight, reading his Bible along the way, but repeated bashing took its toll. Eoghan O'Dea played at Hansen's table today and endured a similar fate, as did James Akenhead and William Thorson elsewhere.
Just like Saenko, David Sonelin turned a soaring advantage into dust, busting midway through the day having at one point had more than 300,000. Tureniec watched Sonelin's rise and fall, then fell himself.
It is the season for chestnuts and the old one we like to keep burning all season long; that of a first double-winner, is kept in the hearth by former winners Mike McDonald (141,300), Rupert Elder (313,700), Anton Wigg (266,600), Kent Lundmark (323,000) and the aforementioned Boeree, who all return tomorrow. You can find the seat draw for tomorrow by clicking on this Day 3 seat draw link.
The rest? Well they're listed on the official chip count page. Their stories and those of the players mentioned, can be read in detail at the links below...
You can read a German and French version of this at the links you may have just noticed. All images are copyright of Neil Stoddart whose copyright hunter-killer legal team has brought the European single currency to its knees.
That's all from Prague tonight. Until noon tomorrow. Goodnight.
* Andrey Saenko was in fact not eliminated, as explained in our Day 3 coverage at 11.55am.
** Again, just to reiterate, Andrey Saenko was not eliminated.
*** It's worth saying again, Andrey Saenko was not eliminated.