Slovenian PokerStars qualifier leads after Day 1A

eureka-poker-tour-thumb.jpgThe Eureka Poker Tour rolled into Nova Gorica, Slovenia and 96 players in total took to the felt on Day 1A.

Slovenia is the smallest country, in terms of population, to ever qualify for the Football World Cup and it looked as if they would be outnumbered here too. There were more Italians and Romanians and just as many Bulgarians as there were Slovenians playing today. But come the end of play it was Slovenian PokerStars qualifier Miha Staric who surged to the front of the pack. As just like a bad football team no one seemed able to hang onto a lead.

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The Perla Casino card room at start of play

It was not an easy ascent to the top for 30-year-old Staric as he got lucky before he got a gift. He told me: "I was down to 19,000 got it in with ace-king against pocket kings and hit an ace. But the biggest pot came when I three-bet with ace-king and my opponent four-bet all-in with ace-five and I called and won. That pot was around 80,000." All in all the Slovenian bagged up 97,500 which took him clear of the chasing pack including second placed Luca Formisano (87,100).

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Miha Staric - Day 1A chip leader

Perhaps the player with the biggest poker pedigree in today's field was Alain Medesan. The Romanian has over $300,000 in lifetime tournament earnings the bulk of which came courtesy of a fourth place finish at EPT Snowfest in 2010. He got out of the traps quick today and despite a wobble in the middle he bagged up 57,100, good for fifth place overnight.

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Medesan - form may fluctuate, class is permanent

In total 40 of of the 96 who started have made day two, including three Czech players who all cashed in the Eureka Poker Tour, Prague event. The triumvirate of Michal Maryska (50,100), Jaroslav Urban (21,100) and Pavel Berka (18,500) all live to fight another day.

But, among those we lost along the way were Rosa Pancino this blogs self appointed 'local hero' for the day. She won't be adding to the 19 cashes she has in Slovenia just yet.

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Berka - part of a strong Czech contingent

If you want to catch up on today's play then click on the links below. Play begins at 2pm tomorrow as those who are here to tackle Day 1B attempt to emulate Staric and the other 39 who made it through to day two. Full chip counts of those who made it through will be available before play starts tomorrow.

Levels 1,2,3 and 4
Levels 5,6,7 and 8

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In the zone - chip leader Miha Staric

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

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in Eureka Poker Tour