EPT12 Prague: Fashionably late, nine more join the party

A feature of EPT Main Events in recent times has been the ability for players to buy-in up until the start of Day 2. It's an option that's always been taken by at least one person and it seems like it's here to stay. You might think it mad for someone to buy-in to an expensive tournament with 37.5 big blinds but there are always reasons to do so.

Some players get into town late due to other commitments, others are busy playing different tournaments on the schedule so can't buy-in until Day 2, whilst sonme win their seat in the last ditch satellite that runs during Day 1B.

All told, nine players opted to begin their Main Event at the start of Day 2 and are listed below:

Peter Vu
Kenneth Chih-Hung
Niklas Astedt
Piotr Franczak
Shlomi Elimeleh
Ambrose Ng
Abdelkader Benhalima
Dzmitry Urbanovich
Henri Jaakkola

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Convey is thrilled with his table draw

The name that sticks out there is Dzmitry Urbanovich, the Pole is the EPT Player of the Year and he's taken this route into the Main Event before. On Day 1A of the tournament he was busy playing the Super High Roller, where he finished fourth. He could've hopped in late on Day 1A after busting but elected instead to play the charity event. On Day 1B he played the Single Day €25,000 High Roller. Again he had time to buy-in on Day 1B but elected not to.

He's got a 'tough' table draw as he was sat to the direct left of long time PokerStars Blog writer Marc Convey. The Brit got the better of Urbanovich in a hand where his A-10 cracked Urbanovich's queens. Easy game.

Urbanovich wasn't the only newcomer to have to face 'The Conv' as Niklas Astedt was also assigned that table. The Swede, who finished fourth in the €10,000 High Roller in Barcelona earlier in the season, has a reputation for aggressive play and our Swedish correspondent said of him: "He's the sort of player who could buy-in on Day 2 and be chip leader by the end of it."

Of course it can go the other way too and Astedt is already out, but he more than doubled his stack before departing. He flopped a set of sevens against Stephen Chidwick's pocket queens and got the money in on the flop and turn. That got him up to 50,000 and after cracking queens once he had another go at it in a pot against EPT11 champion Sebastian Pauli.

The two of them got it all-in pre-flop for a pot of over 100,000 with Pauli holding Q♣Q♠ and Astedt A♥K♥. It was looking good for Astedt when the K♦J♠6♣ flop gave him the lead. The 3♣ turn was a blank but the Q♦ on the river gave Pauli the pot and sent the Swede tumbling out.

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Astedt - in then out

Two of the 'new nine' won their seats to this event in live satellites. Abdelkader Benhalima won his in the last live satellite to the event, a €1,000 Hyper-Turbo that started at 1pm yesterday. He kept his powder dry until today though. He's a man in form as finished fifth in the €3,000 WPT Main Event across town a week ago.

The UK's Peter Vu was the other live satellite winner to enter today, unlike Benhalima he didn't win his seat yesterday so could've entered yesterday had he wished to.

The other name on the list you'd likely recognise is that of Piotr Franczak. Like Urbanovich he was busy playing the Super High Roller and Single Day High Roller during the opening flights of the Main Event. He cashed in the Single Day High Roller, finishing 9th for €55,850.

These nine take the unofficial number of runners in the Main Event to 1,045. That'll be confirmed later when we'll also have the prize pool information for you.

You can follow all the Main Event action on this page.

If you like moving pictures then you'll be happy to hear that #EPTLive coverage of the Main Event has begun. Watch that here.

And side event coverage - lots of it - can be found here. Whilst the results of the events that have already finished are being collated here.


Nick Wright
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour