EPT9 Prague: Records to break as Day 1B gets under way
Given that poker players prefer to stay indoors at all hours of the day, it's surprising poker is not exclusively a winter pursuit. The snow in Prague of yesterday has turned to the drizzle of today, no longer cold enough to freeze the smile on your face, but wet enough to wash it off.
Prague is one of only two genuinely cold events on the tour, although for all its charms, the gales of Deauville make going outdoors the kind of endurance activity reserved for enthusiastic late night commentaries on ESPN. Prague though, unlike Deauville, has none of the harshness of Normandy in the winter, and suits this time of year.
The welcome at the Prague Hilton is a warm one for players and staff, from the lady who takes your coat and gives you a raffle ticket in exchange (I won the raffle yesterday, getting my own coat back) to the tall man who scans you with a metal detector and rummages through your bag, waving through the hip flasks and bags of shopping from the supermarket (causing a spike in the local economy) with a smile and the minimum of inconvenience.
Prague at night
That spike may grow even taller today with the arrival of the Day 1B players who could make this the biggest field for EPT Prague in its seven year history. Yesterday 336 players were reduced to 180 after eight hours of play, topped at the close by Iosif Beskrovnyy from Russia who came from out of nowhere it seemed to bagged up the lead. If 386 players register today it will equal the record field of 722 who played last year. So far the indicators are good.
The introductions have been made and the players welcomed by EPT President Edgar Stuchly and in intro video that shows the simple process of winning an EPT in about a minute and a half. In real time that makes a day's play about 15 seconds long, with a break every four seconds.
Cards are in the air.