EPT8 Berlin: Greenstein (der Bär) one of the features of the day
For most of the day the best table in the field has been the feature table. It's why it's the feature table, funnily enough, and earlier today it boasted a line-up that included Jan Heitmann, Barry Greenstein, Martin Staszko, Will Molson and Philipp Gruissem. The problem for everyone in the room is that it's impossible to see what's going on, although viewers will be able to watch it all when it reaches television screens.
Greenstein is still there despite the opposition, and gave his verdict at the last break.
"I think it's a tough table draw but of course you only get to see the people at your table so maybe the whole field's tough!" said Greenstein. "I'm assuming it's tough or they probably wouldn't have made it the feature table."
The going has been steady on this first day, the dynamic of the event altering player's style of play.
"We had a couple of nice players, but they're gone; nice as in people I wanted to play against," said Greenstein. "Actually I called a hand against one of them that I wouldn't have called against anyone else. But the funny thing is I got all in with him and busted him, but he was the favourite in the hand. He flopped top pair and I flopped a straight draw and hit it."
But any tight play is down to the structure of the day, Greenstein says, with ten-handed play tightening things up.
"Philip (Gruissem) is usually crazy, and it's the fewest hands he's ever played," he said. "And the guy to my right is a friend of his and just by association I assume he's crazy too, which he was. So I three-bet him half the hands he came in and eventually he got subdued and started limping and started folding - he actually folded in the small blind and gave me a walk.
"I think what's happened is that these guys are really good shorthanded players, and playing nine or ten handed takes them out of their element. Just about everyone has had what they represented at the table."
There is another way of keeping tabs on what's going on at the feature table, and that's Twitter. @barrygreenstein has regularly been updating his followers:
"EPT Berlin Main Event. Tag 1A. 250 Spieler begannen mit 30k in Chips. Ich habe 31k, das ist Average. 155BB"
"220 Speiler noch dabei Tag 1A. Average ist 34k. Ich habe 40k. 133 BB. #eptberlin"
"Dinner pause. 180 Spieler doch dabei. Durchscnitt ist 40k. Ich habe 51k. 105BB #eptberlin"
"159 Spieler noch dabei. Durschnitt ist 46k. Ich habe 50k. 63BB#eptberlin Tag 1A"
So is he still tweeting in German?
"Yes. As best I can," grinned Greenstein. "I've misspelled a couple, used the wrong words. Someone said my German was getting better. You know 40 years ago I spoke German, took it in college and all that kind of stuff, but that's a long time. So any improvement I'm getting tweeted back by German players telling me what I've said wrong. By the end of the week I'll be pretty decent."
Not bad so far a first trip to Germany.