EPT11 Prague: Andrey Zaichenko destroys Day 1B, leads by a mile

It is kind of stupid, really, how we keep writing the same thing on PokerStars Blog. But when you're covering the European Poker Tour, at least in this particular region of Central Europe, there seems to be no end to the repetition of the same old themes.

At the EPT11 Prague Poker Festival at the Hilton Hotel this afternoon, a new yawn record yawn was yawn set yawn when Day 1B of the €5,000 Main Event of EPT11 Prague attracted a field of 750 players. Combined with the 342 of yesterday, this is an event of close to 1,100 runners, the biggest outside of Barcelona and the PCA since season six. Registration remains open until the start of Day 2 tomorrow, and you really should get a piece if you have the chance.

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The tournament room at start of play

That said, you'll do well to spin the 30,000 chips you would receive into anything like enough to challenge today's leaders. After eight levels in the Czech capital, the fearsome Russian player Andrey Zaichenko bagged up 237,600 tonight to assume early control of this tournament. Zaichenko, who plays at PokerStars as "Kroko-dill", took a huge chunk out of his online adversary Chris "Moorman1" Moorman towards the end of the day, and has the biggest stack in the room.

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Andrey Zaichenko: Don't be fooled by the smile

Sergei Baranov, from Ukraine, has 230,000. That's plenty for him. Zaichenko's countryman Dmitry Ponomarev finished the first flight this time yesterday with 159,800 to his name. He still has reason to be happy, but has been overhauled.

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Sergii Baranov: Well may you laugh

It will surprise precisely nobody to learn that Vanessa Selbst also ran up a huge stack. The Team PokerStars Pro won an enormous pot from Ludovic Geilich shortly before the dinner break, rivering a bigger full house than the one Geilich also made. Until that point, the notoriously aggressive Scottish player had been running over the table, but he is out. Selbst, however, is more than just in. She will return tomorrow to a stack of 141,800.

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An opponent's eye view of Vanessa Selbst

Other notable stacks, either by virtue of their size or the player wielding them, are as follows:

Peter Roche - 173,300
Peter Turmezey - 165,800
Alexandre Gomes - 165,000
Pierre Chevalier - 153,600
Vladislav Donchev - 143,500
Leonid Markin - 118,900
Theo Jorgensen - 74,300
Stephen Chidwick - 55,400
Natalie Hof - 45,600
Martin Jacobson - 37,600
Eugene Katchalov - 30,600
Liv Boeree - 20,600

Of course, there were plenty of fallers too. Only 400 (approx) of the starting field survived, and Jen Shahade lasted until the very last hand before she went broke. She is in good company on the rail, however, as Dan Shak, Ole Schemion, Steve O'Dwyer, Martin Finger, Luca Pagano, Jan Heitmann, Ivan Demidov and Dennis Phillips are also out of this one.

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Jan Heitmann: Late to arrive, early to depart

Tomorrow will bring another six levels of play, during which we will learn the full scale of this event, plus the reward on offer for the man or woman who wins it. The entire field will reconvene under one roof for the first time, and it's fortunate they are playing in the equivalent of an aircraft hangar: 201 survived yesterday's carnage and they will join today's 400. It will be another big one tomorrow.

Follow all the action from the Main Event on the Main Event page. There's hand-by-hand updates and chip counts in the panel at the top of the page and feature pieces below. And when you've read all that, enjoy some time to yourself.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in Prague