Eureka Poker Tour Nova Gorica: Day 1A, level 1, 2 & 3 & 4 updates (blinds 100-200)

eureka-poker-tour-thumb.jpg6.35pm: Break time
That's the end of level four and players are on a 15 minute break. You'll find level five updates and beyond in a new post.

6.30pm: Snowmen don't melt for Maryska
I joined the action to see a flop of 3♠3♥7♥ and three active players, first to act from the small blind was William Echols who checked to Marius Zuba (under the gun) who fired a bet if 1,700 which Michal Maryska (button) called, Echols folded. The 5♥ fell on the turn and both players checked to see the J♦ hit the river. Again both players practiced avoidance and Zuba showed A♠Q♦ whilst Maryska scooped the pot with 8♣8♠.

6.20pm: News in brief
Here's a summary of some things that have happened in the last 15 minutes...

- 81 players remian

- The latest exit was Renato Szabo

- That exit caused the 'table of death' that contained Alan Medesan, Pavel Berka and Alen Keser to break.

6.05pm: All the way from the USA... sort of
During a break in play I had a word with William Echols who's down on the player list as being American but elsewhere as being Italian. He cleared it up for me, "I'm American but I live in Vicenza." That's about a two hour trip in the car according to google maps. Although he didn't have to cross any the American is treading water here in Nova Gorica.

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5.50pm:Chip counts
Whilst the blog was out of action I was playing flick football getting some chip counts as I know those at home following the blog like to be kept abreast of the chip counts even during the embryonic stages of the tournament.

So here's a smattering of chip counts from around the room:

Alain Medesan - 35,800
Jaroslav Urban - 28,400
Rosa Pancino - 12,700
Petar Zografov - 14,400
Michal Maryska - 18,300
William Echols - 14.750
Pavel Berka - 12,600
Gianni Bonetto - 14,600
Alen Keser - 16,200

So top of the notables is Alan Medesan and with more than double the starting stack of 15,000 he may well be chip leader too. A total of 87 players remain. I'll be updating the chip counts page throughout the tournament.

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Michal Maryska

5.45pm: Now back to our regular scheduled programming
Apologies for the lack of updates for the past 40 minutes but the blog experienced technical difficulties and was out of action. I'm not sure exactly why it stopped functioning but a man, or a women, somewhere has fixed it and we're back up again.


5.05pm: Local heroes part one - Rosa Pancino
Whilst the tour attracts many nationalities to each event it's definitely aimed at players from the host country and those who populate the host casino when the Eureka Poker Tour isn't in town. So to get a sense of that let's celebrate some of those characters. First up Rosa Pancino.

Ok so she's Italian but let's gloss over that. This women has a total of 20 cashes according to a popular poker database and of those all but one has come in Slovenia (the other was in Austria). And 10 of those 20 have come right here in Nova Gorica, that qualifies her as far as this blog is concerned.

Of those cashes her biggest came in November 2007 when she won the Perla Poker Parade, pocketing €14,280. She's yet to trouble the scoreboard in 2011 though so she'll be hoping to break that duck here.

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Rosa Pancino - looking for her first cash of 2011

4.55pm: The seven-deuce game?
We're not sure if the whole table has agreed to play the seven-deuce game but Alan Keser just paid Alain Medesan around 2,400 as the latter took down a pot holding 7♠2♠.

I joined the action on the turn with a board of 8♠J♣3♣K♠ on the felt and Medesan betting 500 into a pot of around 800 and Keser check-calling. The river was the 8♦ and Keser check-called a bet of 1,500 from Medesan before mucking upon seeing Medesan's flush.

4.45pm: Back from the break
Players are back from the break 92 of the 96 runners remain and late registration has now closed. I'll bring you 100% confirmation on the number of runners as soon as I can.

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The eye of the storm

4.30pm: Break time
That's the first two levels done and dusted, players are on a 15 minute break.

4.25pm: Big brother
A curious law in Slovenia states that the casino is not allowed to move any of the poker tables from their current positions, unless they apply to the Slovenian government to do so. Each table has a camera on it and the Slovenian government can see what is going on at any given time.

Whilst this won't effect things in the early stages it does meant that come final table time there won't be a final table 'arena' as such.

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Big brother is always watching

4.15pm: Three exits
There's been three exits so far I knew them as 13/2, 23/5 and 18/7 (their I.D numbers) my player list reveals that they're more commonly known as Giacomo Fundaro, Matej Kokalj and Aca Antic respectively. It's not been a good start for the locals as two of the three busted players are Slovenian.

4pm: Clock calling catching on
I've now seen the clock called more times in the opening 90 minutes of this tournament than you often see on the final day of a tournament.

With the board reading 5♥4♣[10c]J♣ Miklos Cespella (button) had bet 2,700 into a pot of around 7,300. His lone opponent Alen Markovic (cut off) then had the clock called on him. He took out his headphones, floor staff then confirmed he had one minute to make a decision and he then went back to tanking. There would be no last second decision though as Markovic mucked with a good 20 seconds of the minute left.

3.40pm: Medesan bringing the pain?
One familliar face in the field today is Alain Medesan from Romania. He's got a string of live cashes to his name including a fourth place finish at EPT Snowfest in 2010. He's finished as runner up in tournaments in Slovenia on no less than three occasions. He'll be hoping to go one better this time around.

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Alain Medesan

3.30pm: Some numbers
I've got my hands on a player list and I know poker players love to crunch some numbers so here's some to get munching on.

96 - number of players currently registered
94 - number of players still in
14 - the number of Italians and Romanians in the field today, that's the largest contingent from any country, there are also 12 Bulgarians and 12 Slovenians
1 - The number of Americans in the field, we salute you William Echols
1 - The number of pairs of Beats by Dr.Dre headphones we spotted, weak


3.10pm: One minute warning
It's not often you see the clock called during level one of a tournament, even less so when the pot was relatively small but that's what just happened at table 20. With the board reading 6♥4♠A♠[10d]2♥ Lukaev Radoslav had fired 1,200 into a pot of 1,500 and his opponent, Plamen Todorov, was down to 30 seconds of the one minute allocated. I confess I know not if it was Radoslav or another player who had called the clock, but either way Todorov eventually mucked and Radoslav took down the pot.

3pm: Who's here?
A full player list of those hoping to add a Slovenian flag to their poker results should be with us shortly but on the first lap of the card room I spotted a few familiar faces.

Duking it out on day 1A are Jaroslav Urban who finished fifth in the inaugural Eureka Poker Tour event in Prague. He's certainly not afraid to play big pots so I'll be keeping an eye on his table. Then there's Bulgarian Petar Zografov who finished 15th in Prague. He's fearless and erratic, often at the same time, but he can also flat out play, he's one to watch for sure.

And completing a tricky triumvirate is Michal Maryska. Easy to spot due to his trademark hat which bears the Czech Republic flag he's one of the best Czech players at this level and you sense he always knows where he is in a hand. His poker prowess was rewarded with a 28th place finish in Prague.

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Jaroslav Urban - fifth place finisher in Prague

2.40pm: The shape of the day
The plan of action today is to play nine one hour levels to thin the field before day two. There'll be a 15 minute break after every two levels and a dinner break after level six.

2.25pm: Cards in the air
Cards are in the air here in Slovenia. We're don't have a confirmed number of runners just yet but from our vantage point on media row there's currently 12 tables in action meaning around 100-110 players are currently in action.

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The Perla Casino cardroom

2.15pm: Welcome to Nova Gorica

Welcome to the second leg of season one of the Eureka Poker Tour which takes place in Nova Gorica, Slovenia. The PokerStars bandwagon has moved approximately 827km (513 miles in old money) south west since Keith Johnson took down the opening event in Prague on the 20th March, we're told he'll be here to try and go back to back.

Nova Gorica is situated just a stones throw, or a big old slap of a ice hockey puck (a very popular sport in Slovenia) from the Italian border, in fact the nearest airport is in Italy. You don't have to go too far up one of the town's surrounding hills to be able to have a fantastic view of both Slovenia and Italy.

The Perla casino is the venue and if last nights action is anything to go by it's going to be a frenetic tournament. The super satellite generated 14 seats to the main event and there were around a dozen cash games going. One of the participants in one of those cash games was, I'm told, Peter Poles the host of Slovenia's Got Talent. He can't play in this tournament because he's hosting the semi-final of that show this weekend.

In the meantime he's keeping busy by hosting the live feed from some tournament in Madrid which is currently drawing to a conclusion. We talk of course of the EPT Grand Final. If you can bear to drag yourself away from the action here why not check out how the EPT Grand Final is going.

If English is not your mother tongue then there's many a translation service out there including this one

The player's are in their seats and completing the necessary waiver forms and such like, shuffle up and deal is not too far away.

PokerStars Blog reporting team at Eureka Poker Tour Nova Gorica: Nick Wright. Photos courtesy of Manuel Kovšca

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in Eureka Poker Tour