EPT10 Prague: Stephen Chidwick's marathon enters the finishing straight

"I've been watching those two play for the best part of ten days and I've only seen one of them bust once."

These were the words of Nick Wright, delivered with mock-truculence, referring to Dimitri Holdeew and Stephen Chidwick. Wright has been in Prague for a couple of weeks and already has watched those two finish in first and third, respectively, in the Eureka event (for €226,400 and €92,500), which featured 1,013 players.

Now they are sitting next to one another as the Main Event gets down to its final 27, another performance that has required great mines of stamina and endurance. Holdeew hasn't yet been knocked out of an event in Prague, and Chidwick clung on almost as long before Holdeew got rid of him from that other monster event.


Dimitri Holdeew, left, and Stephen Chidwick

The pair of them have now outlasted a combined 4,032 players, and have played countless hours in one another's company. It's rare enough for one player to go on such a heater, but two is remarkable--at least that's what you might think.

"I don't know," said Chidwick as he was heading off for a break before playing the last level of the day. "Luck seems to come in streaks in poker." He also remembered the first World Series he played in Las Vegas, in 2010, when he made back-to-back-to-back cashes in $1,500 buy in events, all within a week.

Even that trio of results, however, doesn't really measure up to this. Unless things go dreadfully wrong in the last 90 minutes today, Chidwick will be heading Day 5 of the Main Event after making Day 4 (final table day) in the Eureka. That's a nine-day marathon, which has not finished yet. With more than 2.3m in chips, third overall, Chidwick may take it even further.

In truth, no one would be surprised to see Chidwick at a final table, least of all his many adversaries at the online tables, where stevie444's winnings are now close to $4m. Had he not made the final table of the Eureka event, he would have been a guest of honour at the WCOOP awards ceremony, where he would have been handed a trophy for his victory in the $320 Pot Limit Badugi event at the biggest online tournament series in the world.

Poker got in the way.

"I won, like, five packages," Chidwick said, describing his reasons behind coming to Prague, even before he considered the invitation to the glitzy award ceremony. That offered something of a throwback to the earliest days we encountered Chidwick, as the enfant terrible of the online satellite tables. This is the guy, remember, who won more than 100 packages for the World Series before he was old enough to play in the United States.

This week, however, is when Chidwick can really come of age. He has been on seven World Series final tables since those early days, including all the mixed games and at all buy ins (including the $50,000 Poker Player's Championship and the $25,000 6-Max). But a really major title has so far eluded him.

With the best part of €900,000 on offer, this would be the perfect time to break through to the next level. It's nearly €100,000 per day of work.

For coverage of Day 4 of the EPT10 Prague Main Event, head to the EPT Prague Main Event page. There's hand-by-hand coverage and chip counts in the top panel, plus feature pieces below the line. The same applies for the High Roller event on the High Roller page. All the information about this festival can be found on the main European Poker Tour website.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour