EPT12 Prague: Anton Astapau finishes with Main Event Day 1A lead

It's heater time for Belarus' Anton Astapau. Just a few weeks removed from two final table finishes as the Asia Championship of Poker, Astapau is tearing up the EPT Prague Main Event field.

By the end of Day 1A registration, 254 people had signed up for the €5,300 event. By its end, more than a 100 of those hopefuls had shuffled off to find other action. At the top of the surviving heap sat Astapau who finished the day on 196,000. He and the rest will be back to 400/800/100 blinds for Day 2 on Saturday.

8G2A1896_EPT12PRA_Anton_Astapau_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Anton Astapau


While we expect a big contingent of PokerStars' finest on Day 1B, Team Pro put up a decent showing on Day 1A. Liv Boeree, Andre Akkari, Martin Hrubby, and Friend of PokerStars Natalie Hof all bagged up chips at day's end.

Team Pro Jason Mercier started the day with specific plans to make Day 2 but ended up getting a break after losing his stack after the dinner break. We expect to see him tomorrow for the a single-day €25,000 circus.

NEIL1942_EPT12PRA_Jason_Mercier_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Jason Mercier


Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

While the Main Event will be the main attraction in the coming days, it had to share to the spotlight on Thursday with two big finishes.

In a lightning-quick Eureka Prague Main Event final, Spaniard Javier Rojas Mederos pulled off a stunning comeback. The four-hour final table was a game of two halves. Lithuanian Vladas Burneikis dominated in the first and looked to seal the deal by halftime. But after the break, Mederos put on a comeback clinic for the win. Howard Swains has the full wrap-up here: Eureka5 Prague: Javier Rojas smashes Eureka final, takes €311,000 in four hours.

javier_rojas_trophy_eureka.jpg

Javier Rojas Mederos


Just a few hours later, Steve O'Dwyer made history in the €50,000 Super High Roller event by becoming the first player to win two EPT Super High Roller titles.

"I like to be the first to do anything," O'Dwyer said.

Our Nick Wright has the story of how O'Dwyer did it: EPT12 Prague: Steve O'Dwyer creates history, wins second EPT Super High Roller title.

EPT12_prague_super_high_roller_day3_steve_odwyer.jpg

Steve O'Dwyer


Now we look ahead to Friday where we expect a much bigger field in the second flight of the Main Event. We're also looking forward to watching the big-money players put up €25,000 apiece in the single-day High Roller event.

Join us then for live updates, interviews, and features throughout the day.

Once again, congrats to Mederos and O'Dwyer on their big victories, and good luck to everyone left in the Main Event.


Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.
is the PokerStars Head of Blogging.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in Season 12