EPT10 Prague: Walid Bou Habib leads record field in Main Event
Two days down, but nothing to show for it. That's the story for those still in the Main Event and making their way back to hotel rooms tonight. Reward for two full days of effort is on the way, but not quite in their hands.
There will be no money for anyone in the EPT Prague Main Event until sometime tomorrow, but when it does arrive it will be the most ever dispensed at EPT Prague.
A handful of players registered overnight bringing the total figure to 1,007, a new record for EPT Prague, generating a prize pool of €4,883,950. From that will come a new record, with the amount awarded to the winner next Wednesday now standing at €889,000.
If the favourite to win that prize was based purely on chips, that would be Walid Bou Habib right now.
Chip leader: Walid Bou Habib
Bou Habib, one of the crack team of Lebanese who seem to populate the upper pages of the chip count lists these days, has previous on the EPT, finishing runner up to Remi Castaignon in Deauville earlier this year. Now he leads again, having pushed his way forward with aces against the kings of Franz Ditz in a pot worth 280,000. His stack of 509,000 is currently the one to beat.
Nearest to Bou Habib is American Jonathan Little, who with more than half a million in prize money this year, is looking to tear up another event before the end of 2013. He finishes on 471,100 tonight.
Ka Kwan Lau had at one point looked certain for the lead tonight, moving up to 600,000 with aces into kings. But he took a late hit to drop back to 440,000 at the close.
Ka Kwan Lau fell short
There are still some 207 players in the Main Event, 151 of who will be paid. Still in the running include:
Sebastian Saffari - 428,000
Amir Lehavot - 427,500
Artem Romanov - 399,700
Nihat Karyagdi - 385,300
Kevin Iacofano - 380,600
Andrea Benelli - 363,500
Ana Marquez - 319,400
Jan Sjavik - 269,000
Max Silver - 259,000
Golden boy: Max Silver
Ludovic Lacay - 242,800
Ari Engel - 240,300
Darren Elias - 224,100
Darie Vlad - 232,100
Kitty Kuo - 209,000
Dmitri Holdeew - 201,600
Stephen Chidwick - 192,500
Simon Deadman - 190,200
Sam Chartier - 131,000
Mariusz Klosinski - 126,000
Jonathan Duhamel - 108,200
Eugene Katchalov - 104,900
David Williams - 89,200
Dermot Blain - 84,200
Marc-Andre Ladouceur - 68,200
Thomas Muhlocker - 50,600
The full list can be found on the chip count page right here.
There was another list of course, the one detailing those long since departed. It was as long as it was distinguished, a roll call of the game's illuminati, including eleven former EPT winners:
Toby Lewis, Season 9 champion Ramzi Jelassi, Brynn Kenney, Matthew Frankland, Sergio Aido, Gaelle Baumann, Remi Castaignon, Christophe and Matthias de Meulder, Luca Pagano, Daniel Negreanu, Davidi Kitai, Dag Palovic, Marvin Rettenmaier, Mickey Petersen, Michael Tureniec, Dimitar Danchev, Steve O'Dwyer, Olivier Busquet, David Vamplew and Kevin MacPhee.
Olivier Busquet (left) with Daniel Negreanu
But they leave behind a field still bristling with star quality, former winners, some of whom were profiled today as the flow of players was reversed. While last year's runner-up David Boyaciyan was alas not one of them, another former finalist in Prague, Ari Engel, was, giving an account of his year of being homeless. It was also a good day for Max Silver, and while Vanessa Selbst might be out of the Main, things looked a lot better elsewhere.
Join us tomorrow for Day 3.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.