EPT9 Berlin Day 1B: Bee-boy Buddiga back in Berlin

As we explained yesterday when we looked back in history, it's now 366 days since the EPT Berlin final table of last season came to an end, won by Davidi Kitai. As we also said, it was a good one, with the bridesmaidish Andrew Chen in second place and Andre Morath in third.

All three play today. Those that do well in an event assume some kind of ownership of it a year later, often returning to "defend their title", or in the case of Morath "defend their third place". It never works out of course, but reminiscence is a powerful force in poker, as is superstition, and make-up.

Actually for most in that final it was the forerunner to a good year. Kitai has earned a further $300,000 in the year since Berlin, while Spaniard Cesar Garcia added $150,000 to his receipts column. Chen won another $68,000; Marc Wright earned close to six figures and Mario Puccini some $53,000.

There was another player that day, departing in eighth place but one of the keener prospects to emerge - Pratyush Buddiga - who has earned $100,000.

Pratyush Buddiga

Buddiga was out first that day, but had played with an effective turn of foot to finish so well. Buddiga, still only 24, has ample experience of dealing with tough situations, the toughest obviously being handed a trophy three times his own bodyweight after he won the 75th Scripps National Spelling Bee, in 2002.

Freed from such restrictions and has profited handsomely as a poker player, having been coached by EPT winner Mike McDonald, one of the few people to successfully defend their title. Well almost defend it, finishing fifth the year after he took first prize in Dortmund.

Today Buddiga starts his Berlin campaign on table 28, with Matt Stout on his right, Christof Bachmann of Germany one seat to his left, and Russian Dmitry Gromov, of Prague slow-playing infamy, two seats to his left.

Last year McDonald said of Buddiga he'd improved greatly during the time of his coaching. That much was clear a year ago. A year on we await his updated report card.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter

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