EPT9 Prague: The view from the last 21

The prospect of making it to the last 21, from a field of 864, always sounds pretty good on day one. But four days later, with a final table just a day away, elimination makes any sense of achievement feel a little flat.

It may be true that nobody remembers the player who finishes in second, but it's equally true that nobody remembers those finishing on the penultimate day, except perhaps the bustees themselves, whose disappointment is unlikely to be something they'll wish to be reminded of.

That's what lays ahead on Day 5 of EPT Prague, the slow process of reducing 21 to a final table of eight.

The river Vltava in Prague

At stake is a shot at a first prize of €835,000. The consolation of defeat is a guaranteed €25,000. When the two numbers are compared elimination doesn't really bare thinking about.

Ben Warrington certainly won't have an early flight home on his mind, although with a chip leading stack of 2,618,000 he has a natural right to assume that departure today won't happen. The Englishman, who survived an all-in one the bubble two days ago, surged into the lead yesterday and is the marker for today. Behind him though is a tough and talented crowd.

Ramzi Jelassi, Johnny Lodden and Jeff Sarwer are among the most notable, with EPT track records that already shone prior to this latest deep run. But it's Roberto Romanello who catches the eye. Returning as the short stack, the Welshman is 21 places away from an historic win, not only a second EPT title, but a second Prague title, to go with that won two years ago.

His task is an uphill one, but then again poker tournaments are always uphill. And while players take the strain you can follow all the action right here on the PokerStars Blog, with features throughout the day, and live updates on our coverage page.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour