EPT10 Prague: Amir Lehavot continues hot streak of Vegas in chilly Prague

There was a moment during level seven of Day 1B at EPT Prague where the producers of the EPT Live webcast asked the roving camera to pick out Amir Lehavot at the table. The man from Florida, who vaulted into the public's consciousness when he took third at the World Series Main Event final table in November, had assumed the chip lead in the Czech Republic.

The camera found Lehavot and then it panned back only slightly. Sitting to his right was Marc-Etienne McLaughlin, who knew Lehavot very well. McLaughlin had also been a member of the November Nine this year and between them they had earned $5.3m in a single tournament.

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Neighbours again: Marc-Etienne McLaughlin and Amir Levahot

Prague may feel like a homely destination, a long way from the glitz of Monte Carlo or the excess of Las Vegas. But the Czech Republic, and its capital in particular, has grown to be one of the most attractive destinations on the world poker calendar.

More than 1,300 players showed up for the Eureka Poker Tour event earlier this week and there were 609 through the door for the €5,300 EPT Main Event today. That, combined with yesterday's 389 gave us 998 players - and registration is not closed yet. The race is on for 1,000, a number only ever previously reached either in Barcelona or at the PCA.

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How many? This many

Not only was there the quantity, but there was the quality too. In addition to those aforementioned November Niners from this year -- and Levahot finished as the chip leader today, with 239,300 -- we also had Sylvain Loosli, who came fourth, and Jake Balsiger, who was third last year.

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Levahot out front alone

And then there were the more familiar EPT faces: Daniel Negreanu, the current World No 1, spent the first half of the day on the feature table and bagged up 74,600 chips at the close. ElkY had a couple of levels on the stage too, and ended with 79,700.

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Daniel Negreanu and Liv Boeree strategise ahead of Day 1B

Luca Pagano, who is more familiar on the EPT than anyone, led the charge for Team PokerStars Pro. His accumulation of 137,600 chips included the elimination of Chris Moorman, the online monster. The EPT is Pagano's turf.

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At home on the EPT: Luca Pagano

It would take far too long to pinpoint every one of the twists and turns that led us to the current state of affairs. But there are approximately 360 players remaining, who will join with the 210 from yesterday, to play six levels tomorrow on day two.

Among the notables, either by reputation or stack size, are the following:

Amir Lehavot - 239,300
Kirill Shugai - 169,100
Ori Hasson - 157,600
Bernard Latouff - 156,000
Jonathan Roy - 149,800
Valentino Yasenov Konakchiev - 149,000
Sylvain Loosli - 148,000
Jan Sjavik - 142,400
Andrea Benelli - 140,400
Luca Pagano - 137,600
Darie Vlad - 129,400
Franz Ditz - 105,200
Davidi Kitai - 99,100
Ludovic Lacay - 97,800
Dmitry Holdeew - 95,200
Eugene Katchalov - 81,900
Dag Palovic - 79,900
ElkY - 79,700
David Peters - 76,000
Daniel Negreanu - 74,600
Eoghan O'Dea - 69,600
Martin Staszko - 65,800
Martin Finger - 58,600
Robin Ylitalo - 55,400
Vitaly Lunkin - 51,900
David Williams - 50,500

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David Williams: going strong

Marc-Andre Ladouceur - 48,500
Andrew Chen - 45,300
Dimitar Danchev - 40,500
Christophe De Meulder - 40,100
Nicolas Levi - 40,200
Mickey Petersen - 37,800
Dominik Nitsche - 34,700
Gaelle Baumann - 33,800
David Vamplew - 30,700
Ana Marquez - 28,700
Bolivar Palacios - 25,500
Sofia Lovgren - 23,800
Saar Wilf - 15,300

But this group bowed out, falling at the first.

Tom Middelton, Noah Boeken, Ignat Liviu, Ville Wahlbeck, Martin Hruby, Maxim Lykov, Mustapha Kanit, Fabrice Soulier, Pratyush Buddiga, Mike McDonald, Liv Boeree, Max Heinzelmann, Marcin Horecki, Zimnan Ziyard, Richard Toth, Paul Berende, Isaac Haxton

Our coverage today featured Rick Dacey in a 15-year-old-in-court-on-a-joyriding-charge tie, then a look at some EPT Live bloopers with James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton. We watched Martin Kabrhel play the first hand to get the second flight airborne, then we checked in with some familiar faces, old and new.

Marcin Horecki talked to PokerStars.tv about final tables and wizards, and then had a chat with Glen Cymbaluk, the Canadian Cowboy. And then there was a man, not to put too fine a point on it, who had a big beard.

Eugene Katchalov revealed his tricks to beat Daniel Negreanu, and Mickey Petersen told us his plans for Christmas.

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Eugene Katchalov

We then took a very close look at the biggest dealing staff ever assembled for this festival.

Tomorrow we will return at noon for more action from Hilton Prague. We will also find out the full extent of this record breaking field and, more importantly, what they are all playing for.

Join us then.

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Time for bed for Daniel and co

Howard Swains
@howardswains in EPT Prague