Eureka Poker Tour Prague: Day 1A, Level 1 & 2 updates, blinds 50-100
4.10pm: Dinner break
Level two is in the books and the players are on a 40 minute dinner break. During that time hopefully a seat draw will be forthcoming and I'll be able to bring you confirmation of how many entrants there are on Day 1A. -- NW
4.05pm: Hruby standing up
I saw Team PokerStars Pro Martin Hruby standing up, man bag strapped on and finishing a soft drink. This couldn't be good...but he soon sat down again and on closer inspection is definitely alive and kicking in this tournament with 12,800. -- NW
4pm: Smoke detector
You can smoke indoors here in the Czech Republic and whilst, thankfully, the tournament area is a no smoking zone the area just outside isn't and the bar is a de facto smoking zone. So the sight of players sat at tables, cigarettes hanging out the corners of their mouth is a common one, they quickly fold and then dash off to get a fix of a different kind. -- NW
3.50pm: 20 minutes to get in
There's just 20 minutes left until registration for Day 1A slams shut, so if you live within a stones throw, tram ride or walking distance of the Casino and fancy a pop, come on down. If not there's always Day 1B. A seat draw is not going to be available until registration closes. -- NW
3.35pm: Another familiar face
My thanks to PokerStars blog Czech photogrpaher Tomas for pointing out Jaroslav Vajgl to me, he's a well known face in Czech poker circles and is sat at the same table as Team PokerStars Pro Martin Hruby. And the man does have a few results to his name and seems to love playing in Prague. Five of his six registered results have occurred in this city including a 79th place finish in the EPT Prague event in December 2010. He's struggling here, down to just 8,000. -- NW
3.20pm: Just like
London Buses Czech Trams
Two exits in a matter of minutes here in Prague. First man out was PokerStars qualifier Matthew Rainford. -- NW
3.10pm: One level down, no exits
The tournament clock is still showing that no one has busted and I've heard no cries of, 'seat open,' as of yet. So everyone, it seems, has survived the opening level. How boring! -- NW
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50-100
2.55pm: Hruby fires three barrels
One player who needs little introduction is Team PokerStars Pro Martin Hruby. The Czech pro has a string of cashes to his names, including a second place finish at EPT Vienna in October 2010 and he knows what it's like to win in Prague having taken down an event here in November 2009.
As luck would have it I just saw him play a big pot against Petar Zografov. I joined the action to see a flop of 8♣6♣3♥ and Hruby checked from the big blind and Zografov bet 200, a bet Hruby check-raised to 550 total, call. The dealer burned and turned the Q♠, Hruby decided to check again and Zografov fired out a bet of 825. However, for the second street in a row Hruby put in a check-raise, making it 2,050 total. Again Zografov called.
The river was the 5♥, would Hruby go for the triple check-raise? Sadly not, as he elected to lead for 2,625. This sent Zografov deep into thought, after two or three minutes in the tank he made the call and Hruby tapped the table before showing 7♣6♦, Zografov showed 9♥8♦ to win the pot. Hruby must have got off to a good start as depite losing that pot he's only down to around 14,600. -- NW
2.45pm: Say what?
With a heavy bias of Eastern, Southern and Central European players it's possible that if you're reading the updates then English isn't your native language. If that's the case then click here for a handy tool to translate it into whichever language is. -- NW
2.30pm: 160 and rising
PokerStars Business development manager for national tours in Europe Jon Raab has just informed me that 160 players are currently fully paid up for Day 1A. There are 12 tables in the main poker room with a further five in a smaller area just outside, expect them to break first. A seat draw of who's sititng where has been promised within 30 minutes. -- NW
2.10pm: Shuffle up and deal
The tournament director Vaclav Rychtarik has just made a short introduction to the players and uttered the cry of shuffle up and deal. Only 10 minutes later than planned, not bad that for a new tour. -- NW
2pm: A new tour begins
Eureka! Welcome to the first day of the Eureka Poker Tour, a brand new PokerStars-sponsored tour. Prague is the first stop of a series of events in eastern, central and southern Europe.
It doesn't seem long since PokerStars was last in Prague and that's because it's not. Back in December 2010 the EPT stopped off here, but this tournament and the entire tour is aimed at a far different cross section of players. With a buy-in of €800, just like PokerStars other successful regional tours, the tour aims to give all levels of players that big tournament feel for a fraction of the price.
This, the first leg, is taking place in the aptly named Card Casino, last night's super satellite generated 17 seats and the tournament clock is showing that 150 players are registered for Day 1A, but we expect that figure to rise.
Amongst those taking to the felt today is Team PokerStars Pro Martin Hruby, but it's not just the Czechs who've turned out in force to support this tournament, there's a large contingent of players from Germany, Poland and Russia who've come to the Czech Republic to test their luck.
Play is set to begin any minute now. If you'd like to know more about the tour click here -- NW
PokerStars Blog reporting team at Eureka Poker Tour Prague:Nick Wright