Eureka 3 Prague: Jean-Yves Mallat hammers the field to lead after Day 1A
If the opening event of the EPT & Eureka Prague Poker Festival is anything to go by then this festival is going to be massive. A total of 366 players played Day 1A of the Eureka Poker Tour Main Event and with over 400 already registered for Day 1B last years field of 644 has already been surpassed. By how much? Well time will tell.
Over 10 one-hour levels the field of 366 was reduced significantly to around just 120 players, whilst some faltered others prospered. None more so than Jean-Yves Mallat. Hailing from the United Arab Emirates he leads tonight having bagged up a massive 246,500. He's closely followed by Pavel Meshkov (188,100), Avi Cohen (178,700), Lukasz Pezda (175,800) and Peter Macej (148,800). They'll all be confident of a cash going into Day 2.
Representing Team PokerStars Pro today was Eugene Katchalov. The Ukrainian was comfortably stacked all day, indeed I spent an orbit with him part way through the day and headphones in, he was in the zone and going well. No matter how tuned in you are though, you can't legislate for pre-flop coolers. Late in the day he ran pocket queens into the pocket kings of Cohen. Pot to Cohen and Katchalov was gone. He's got plenty of chances at collecting a Czech flag for the third year in a row.
And Katchalov was not the only big name to bust during Day 1A, two-time EPT final tablist Jan Bendik bit the dust. As did a man who's final tabled the WSOP Main Event, Antoine Saout. The Frenchman bust in the hand of the day getting it all-in with pocket kings against Vítězslav Čech's ace-ten. A [k] flop gave him an iron grip on the hand. It wasn't enough though as running aces gave Čech a superior full-house.
Fellow Frenchman Roger Hairabedian also fell, as did Jack Salter, Saveikis Algirdas and Alberto Fiorilla - who for tonight at least - leads the Eureka Poker Tour Season 3 leader board.
Whilst they won't return on Day 2 Simeon Todorov (23,400), Diego Gomez (66,800) and Tobias Garp (87,700) all will. They won't be back until 12pm on Tuesday, we though will be here from noon Monday for a bumper Day 1B. Team PokerStars Pro will be well represented with the De Meulder twins, Marcin Horecki, Martin Hruby, Alex Kravchenko and Henrique Pinho all playing. They won't be alone, expect plenty more big names too. Chip counts of everyone who made it through today will be made available during play tomorrow but until then it's good night from Prague.
All photos are copyright of Tomas Stacha.