Eureka Croatia 2: Day 1b, Level 9 completed
Galic heads chip count at end of Day 1b
Another furious day of poker played out here in Zagreb , the 84 hopefuls who turned up to give it their all reduced to a mere 26 by the close of play.
The chip lead was held by different players at various points of the day, both American players in the field, Team Pokerstars Pro Barry Greenstein and the lesser-known but also talented Rob Aperelman, snatching it at certain points.
Despite his strong start, Greenstein proved unable to survive the day, crashing out in the latter levels, whilst Aperelman survived through to day 2.
For much of the day it was Michal Misterek who held sway, garnering a big stack and then using it like a weapon to ensure he will return for day 2 with 95k.
Dragan Galic however was the man who topped the field come the close of play. With $1.2 million in tournament winnings, Galic is one of Croatia's most experienced and accomplished players and he used every ounce of that experience to carve out the chip lead with 100,100.
He didn't quite manage to match the 115k accumulated by Irishman Martin Scannell from Day 1a, but Galic will return for day 2 well placed for a tilt at the title.
61 players will return to the Golden Sun Casino at 2pm local time tomorrow for the playdown to the final day so join us then as we continue the bid to crown the champion of Eureka Croatia.
The full chip counts from combined day 1 and 2 are now available and you can find them by clicking the link to the right of this page.
12.55pm: END OF LEVEL 9; END OF DAY 1b
And that ladies and gentleman is that! The 81 entrants have been cut to 28 at the close of play. The players are bagging and tagging as we speak, so we should have full and final chip counts and an end of day wrap post shortly.
Thanks for following, we hope you've enjoyed the coverage here at Croatia. We'll be back soon for our final summary of the day.
12.47pm: Down to 28 players
As expected, this level has been attritional, with many players too short to avoid going broke when they are dealt decent hands.
The players have just been told we will only be playing three more hands tonight, so let's see if there's any last minute action.
12.38pm: Rob's a peril, man
Rob Aperelman is one of the few Americans who has made the trip to Croatia to take part, but he is a big part of proceedings now, moments ago witnessing a raise to 1.6k then a shove from a short stack for 16,700 in front of him, only to look down at aces.
He made the call without fuss and spoke to his cards "one time hold up, come on."
The original raiser threw his hand away and Aperelman was left facing off against A♠K♣.
A board of 4♦J♠7♦Q♦ gave the all-in player a slim chance at survival, but his gutshot failed to materialise on the 3♦ river and Aperelman was left to sweep up the pot, receiving a timely boost to 56,575.
"That was a good pot huh," he joked as he restacked his newly acquired booty.
12.28pm: LEVEL 9 HAS NOW STARTED
The final level should be carnage with a host of stacks needing to make a move now these blinds represent such a large proportion of their stack.
We've already seen the field whittled down to 36 and we can expect lots more activity in the coming hands.