Eureka Croatia 1: Day 1a, Level 1-4 Updates (100,200)
6.30pm: END OF LEVEL 4, 20 MINUTE BREAK
6.15pm: The Big Lebowskis
Own up, who is sitting around in dressing gowns sipping white russians? Metaphorically speaking of course. It's nice to be playing well, but even nicer to be running well and a small group has formed a phalanx that is spearheading its way to the head of the leaderboard.
These men, and one lady, are taking control of this tournament. Who's going to stop them?
These are the current chip leaders as we close in on the end of level 4.
Marko Gasparovic 37,850
Boris Kuzmanovic 36,750
Hana Soljan 34,600
Zdravko Duvnak 32,575
Georgiev Stelyan 29,300
Vedran Premuzic 28,000
5.55pm: Whassup? Kingsup!
Things must have been looking bleak for Milan Dabic, who was down to almost nothing before he went to a flop three way.
Holding K♣J♣ he must have been delighted to see the board come down K♠J♥7♠ and he elected to check-raise his final 6k allin when Hrvode Mitorvic moved bet out 2.5k and was called by Andras Tell.
3.5k more to Mitorvic, he tank passed, before Tell felt priced in to call with J♠2♠ for second pair.
No rough outdraw and Dabic is back to around 16.5k whilst Tell takes a dent and is back to 17k.
5.40pm: LEVEL UP: BLINDS 100/200
5.23pm: Sol reads
First we're giving ourselves a much-deserved slap on the wrist for claiming only 2 female participants have appeared for day 1A.
Hana Soljan - whose poker results list is fairly astounding (with 5 notable cashes, 4 of them firsts) arrived late but has now swelled the female ranks by 50% and already she has laid the smackdown in the name of her sisters.
Up to 32k she is contending for the chip lead. Watch your back guys, this lady is not messing around...
5.10pm: Quad-zilla baby!
We all like rampaging Japanese dinosaurs, but is there anything sweeter than hitting quads? Well, how about getting paid off too?
Zdravko Duvnjak just experienced both of these things. We joined the hand on the river of a Q-7-7-4-2 board - Duvnjak showing down pocket sevens - and watched Inigo Rodriguez count down his stack in its entirety before conceding he was coverered.
Adios senor - but quick, quick, before you leave, what did you have...? Too late - he gone.
Duvnjak meanwhile is up to 32k - vying for the chip lead and was laughing and joking with his table after that exciting hand.
4.52pm: Sweet Muzic heads straight for the top
As reported earlier Vedran Premuzic is our current chip leader and we spoke to him during the break to get his thoughts.
"I'm very happy so far," he told us, revealing that his big hand of note, saw him flop a straight with Q-T on a J-K-A board, his unfortunate opponent holding pocket kings for a set.
The board failed to pair and Premuzic now has a big stack to work with.
4.45pm: Danolic blueprint for success
We had a chance to catch up with Marko Danolic during the break.
He has had a strong early start here up to 22k. He slipped into "Swiss Tony" mode at one point however whilst pointing out some of the inherent dangers of poker.
"Poker is much like driving a car. You need some control. You drive too fast and it can be very dangerous," he explained.
Wise words from
Swiss Marko there.
4.40pm: Gone but not forgotten
Malbasa Hrvoje, Zoltan Kolar, Tell Andras, Petar Zografov are the players who have succumbed during the first two levels. Disappointed no doubt, but they are free to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of Croatia which, if the glowing reccomendation my cab driver gave me is to be believed, are many and varied.
My tip, try some of the local barbeque guys!
4.35pm: LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75/150
4.15pm: END OF LEVEL 2, 20 MINUTE BREAK
4.02pm: Supernova Imploder
We all know what happens to stars when they die. They go supernova. But what happens to supernovas when they die?
We may be not far from finding out, as Goran Mandic, one of the brace of supernova players occupying table 10 is starting to struggle.
His latest downswong saw him contest a flop with tablemate Georgiev Stelyan, betting 2.2k of his 8.7k stack on a Kd Tc 4c board, only to see the in-position Stelyan throw in an assortment of red 1k chips and a yellow 5k chip, enough to set Mandic all-in.
He huffed and puffed a while but ultimately decided against drawing his line in the sand just yet, throwing his hand away and leaving him with just 6.5k...
3.45pm: The leading lights
It's time to take stock of who's shaking this tournament up right now and we have three names for you to mull over.
First up there's Vedran Premuzic, the Croatian having amassed a healthy 31k in chips and ominously already he's wielding it like a weapon, last seen c-betting a king-high flop and scraping in yet another pot.
Next up, we have Suad Begovac, who has 25k to his name. Finally there's Georgiev Stelyan, last seen tangling with Supernova Goran Mandic in the hand above.
He has 23k now and is also pulling away from the chasing pack a little.
3.24pm: The Final Countdown
Dah da dah dahhhhh, da-da dah dah dah etc.
It looks as though 94 players have stepped up to the plate on Day 1a. Day 1b traditionally brings more feet to the poker felt so we can expect the total number to be in excess of 200, hopefully pushing toward that 250 benchmark set last year.
And for those of you who loved my impromptu typed rendition of the infamous, classic 80s song, I must insist their doctors double their medication immediately.
3.10pm: This one's for the ladies
We like to see the female contingent of the poker community throwing themselves wholeheartedly into live tournaments, so it's slightly disappointing we only have two of them here today - Zeljka Peric and Lidija Nikodinovic.
However, they have both negotiated the early stages, Peric sitting on just above her 15k starting stack with 15,500 or so, whilst Nikodinovic has taken the game by the scruff of the horns and has moved up to a positive, if not yet tournament-challenging stack of 17,700.
Good luck the girls we say.
3.10 LEVEL UP, BLINDS 50/100
2.55pm: Knezevic drops out after set up
We have had our first elimination of the day, and Marko Knezevic is the man to succumb.
Naturally with the blind stacks so deep, it took a cooler to bring about the bustout - Knezevic being the victim of a frosty set versus set confrontation.
In this instance, he was the man with the underset, and unable to spike the necessary one outer to keep him in touch, he leaves the casino with nothing but brief memories to comfort him on his way.
2.30pm: Champagne Supernovas
As expected, the slow blind structure means we have not seen too many crazy insane allins thusfar, it's been mainly smallish pots swapping hands, so let's bring you up to speed with some of the more interesting characters packed into the casino.
Firstly we have Denis Kelemen playing in the field, the man who captained Croatia to a silver medal in the 2010 World Cup of Poker.
Also burning brightly are a pair of supernovas, Robert Vukovic and Goran Mandic.
Vukovic was the first man to attain Supernova Elite status in Crotian history 2 years ago. As one of his close friends revealed, "it was quite a party after that!"
Perhaps he'll be cracking out the champers if he can forge a victory out of his buy-in here.
2:05pm Welcome To Croatia!
Welcome to the heart of Zagreb as the Eureka Poker Tour marches into Croatia for leg one of its second season.
Hosted at the Golden Sun Casino, a host of fidgety hopefuls have swarmed into the casino with riches on their mind. One of those whose hopes might have a little more foundation that most is Antonio Diequez Rodriguez, whose impressive resume boasts a win at Eureka Slovenia and a runner-up spot at Eureka Prague in season 1.
A warning for his opponents - the Spaniard looks relaxed, composed and very confident as he bids to pick up his second Eureka tour title.
One man who would be unlikely to be intimidated by the accomplished Spaniard is Team Pokerstars Pro Barry Greenstein, who has a daunting list of poker achievements. Greenstein however will be playing Day 1b, making the day 1a roster's job that little bit simpler.
Here's a taster of what these players should be aiming for - last year's winner Richard Bodis enjoying his moment of glory.
We're moments away from the start so shuffle up and deal, good luck one and all!