EPT10 Prague: A trickle and a torrent in either direction as day two fireworks begin
There is a airport-style security check outside the tournament room here in Prague which has a predictable effect on the speed with which players can enter the room. It's unavoidable, but there's a bit of a queue as more than 550 players arrive together and then gradually trickle through the bottleneck to their tables.
However, as tournament officials begin their announcements that bags can now be cut open and play commence, the trickle becomes more of a torrent. Coffees are abandoned, a few elbows get jabbed into the ribs of the dawdlers, empty chairs are hastily filled and the blades of plastic-handled safety scissors are flashed around like samurai swords.
Then the instruction is given to shuffle up and deal and away they go.
On Day 2 in particular, something peculiar then occurs. Basically, it is like watching the aforementioned sequence in reverse. Within only a small number of hands, a torrent to the door begins as the bloodbath of the early levels draws inevitable casualties.
In this period, the tournament staff have three or four of their number deployed solely for the purpose of retrieving the ID cards of the departed then stacking them in a pile by the admin desk. It took less than three minutes before the tickets representing Emin Aghayev (6,500 at day's start; 0,000 after one hand) and Gunter Fortkord (17,200 at day's start; same fate) became the foundation for what would rapidly become a tower.
"Why's everyone so serious today?" chirruped a very familiar Canadian voice, taking advantage of the relative calm in the tournament room to address everyone at once. "We're lucky, playing an EPT for big money," continued Daniel Negreanu (74,600 at start), for it was he. "Soak it in. Enjoy it."
If only that were possible for Paul Varano and Viktor Chijinev, who were hastily waling from the door suring Negreanu's speech and their ID card being added to the discards pile.
Table 63 became the first to break, sending Luca Pagano to a new assignment on the same table as Robin Ylitalo. Over the other side of the room, Alessandro Monticciolo (30,400 at start) lamented finding kings at the exact time Miltiadis Kyriakides had aces.
Monticciolo headed away, pursued by Micah Raskin, Dmitry Yurasov, Slobodan Kuzicic, Zoltan Purak, Mario Adinolfi, Douglas Souza and Carla Solinas.
It's unclear whether any of these players had abandoned cups of coffee in the lobby, but if so, they might still be hot. Their days had lasted scarcely more than five minutes.
At those guys gave it a go, though. It's more than can be said for Viktor Makeev, who did not return to his 12,500 stack. That is being gradually blinded away as we speak.
For coverage of Day 2 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. All the information about event can be found on the main European Poker Tour website.