Eureka Croatia: Day 1A, level 9 updates (blinds 400-800 ante 100)
3am: Bravo for Pavao, Croatian leads Day 1A field
A total of 116 players including Chris Moneymaker took to the felt for Day 1A of Eureka Croatia at the Golden Sun casino in Zagreb.
After nine levels of play that saw the 116 starters reduced to 40 it was Croatian Pavao Vujnovac who bagged and tagged the biggest stack, taking 105,900 through to day two. In fact he was the only player to breach the six figure mark with Marko Puskadija (85,900), Ante Cetinic (78,400), Andreas Leledakis (73,900) and Marko Gasparovic (73,500) rounding out the top five.
However it was clear from the get-go what the biggest story of today was, the aforementioned Moneymaker the Team PokerStars Pro, 2003 WSOP Main Event Champion and main/only attraction of Moneymaker's World Tour. The man credited with starting the poker boom is in Zagreb on the third stop of a five leg world tour that has already taken in Melbourne and Edinburgh and will move on to Barcelona and Blankenberge.
The affable American who posed for photos throughout the day, is yet to score a cash on the tour, but is still in with a shot here as he finished the day with 52,900, good for 14th of 40. However, it could've been more as Moneymaker was chip leader entering the last level: "At the start of the last level I had 86,000 and the guy to my left (Ante Cetinic) had 70,000. He went up, I went down, two hands with [A][J] ruined my night, sick spots and I knew nothing about him." Still Moneymaker will be back for day two.
Among the 76 hopefuls who busted on Day 1A was top dog of the Eureka Poker Tour Leaderboard Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez. The smiley Spaniard who's frown is always upside down was seen shaking his head on numerous occasions and never got anything going. Still if he stays top and wins a year's worth of Sunday Million entries we'll likely hear his cry of 'Vamos' once more.
To catch up on all the action from today click on the links below and you'll find level nine updates just below this post.
I'll be back again tomorrow to do it all again when Day 1B starts at 2pm in Zagreb. Full chip counts of the 40 players who made it through to Day 2 are available here. Good night from a balmy Zagreb.
1.20am: Play is done for the day
Players are bagging and tagging their chips right now, a wrap of the day's play will follow shortly.
1.10am:Moneymaker makes big laydown
I joined the action to see a bet of 15,000 in front of Chris Moneymaker and an all-in bet of around 79,000 in front of big blind Ante Cetinic. This suggested the action had probably gone open, three-bet, four-bet, shove.
Either way action was on Moneymaker and after getting the bets of 15,000 pulled in he tanked hard saying: "I think I'm getting the right price," before eventually folding his hand. As he took the pot Cetnic showed A♣K♦.
1.03am: Last five hands
With 15 minutes left in the level the clock has been paused and players will play five moe hands before bagging and tagging.
Not only is it the secret of life, the universe, and everything but there's 42 players left here in Zagreb. One of those free to hitchhike round Croatia is Michael Leedham who is a recent bust out.
0.50am: Moneymaker slipping
Chris Moneymaker seems to have slipped a little to around 75,000 with his chips seemingly going to his left hand neighbour.
Despite there only being 20 minutes left in the day there hasn't really been any big pots of note of even many all-ins. For instance in a recent hand i saw after a button raise and a small blind flat call, the big blind squeezed to 6,400 and despite all three being deep stacked both the other players gave it up with little fuss and no resistance.
0.35am: Chip leaders
There's no runaway chip leader at the moment. The average stack is around 36,250 and according to my eyes there are a number of players between 86,000 and 70,000. It seems that Team PokerStars Pro and WSOP 2003 main event champion Chris Moneymaker may well has snuck into the chip lead he has 86,000, Calin Ciolte has 79,000, Pontos Pantelis has 69,000 and Martin Svub has 67,000.
0.25am: Change of plan, eight down one to go
Word has just reached me (and presumably the players too) that level nine will be the last of the night, not level ten as was originally intended. Also due to a colour up of the 25 chips there was no time for chip counts to be done during the break.
So i'm off to get an eye on who the big stacks are, although with no visible ID cards it might prove a mite tricky.
I've also spotted Romanian pro Alain Medesan watching the action, he'll be playing tomorrow no doubt.
0.15am: Eight down two to go
The remaining players are back in their seats for the last two levels of the night. The last two levels should be fun, players get tired, players go for broke or go home and the big stacks try to take advantage of this and get even bigger. Stay right here.
PokerStars Blog reporting team at Eureka Poker Tour Croatia: Nick Wright. Photos courtesy of Manuel Kovsca