EPT10 Prague: Big game hunting in the Main Event

There are three events taking place in the main tournament room this afternoon. The main event takes up the most space, this year forcing the cash game players to make do with tables in the outer lobby.

But while the main event gathers pace the room is not exclusive lent to them. As we explained earlier the main feature today is not the main event, but the Charity Challenge, the set for which takes up the central portion of the room and looks like a hyper-active branch of Radio Shack, with dozens of cameras strapped together in a line to film in Time Freeze.

All this activity gives the roving reporter a better chance of seeing something. For when your job is to spot what's going on in the early stages of a poker tournament, typically quiet, you can compare the early levels of a poker tournament to game hunting.

Loaded up, ready with your gear, you spend an awful lot of time wandering around looking around corners hoping to see something big. A lot of the time you see nothing, but then all of a sudden you turn a corner and find a buffalo staring back at you, or in this case quads.

Chad Holloway, one of the mainstays of the PokerNews reporting team, beamed proudly having found the equivalent of a Buffalo or in poker terms quads. Kyle Menne had found them and Holloway beamed. If there had been some way of mounting these poker horns he would have.

Traditionally, as shown last year, EPT Prague gets busy, but movement doesn't mean action in the early levels

But as the hunter Ernest Hemingway once said, "never confuse movement with action". There is a lot of movement in the room, but very little action, as players arrive to take their seats and get comfortable with a steady period of folding.

For central to many who play this event is that spirit of optimism, the raw kind, which makes €5,300 seem like money well spent. In poker terms it most certainly is, particularly when the bumper field that's expected this week will fatten the prize pool.

Right now, with time on the clock and enough blinds to reach your chin, anything can happen. This "best case fallacy" -- a belief that victory is inevitable -- is noble, if fatally flawed. But right now it keeps players, and those watching them in merry awe. The only person to understand how different reality is will be the player on the receiving end of the winner's cheque next Wednesday night.

For now we go on, the players all movement and no action, and the media trying to find anything or note to shoot at. Of course, there's always the Charity Challenge.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in EPT Prague