Eureka3 Bulgaria, Day 1A: Same venue, new card room

Hello and welcome to Eureka3 Bulgaria here at the wonderful International Hotel Casino and Tower Suites located in the tourist hotspot of Golden Sands in Varna. This is the third year in a row the tour has been to this venue, but even if you've been the previous two years you'll notice some changes. The card room is totally unrecognisable having undergone a major refurbishment in the last 12 months.

However, some things don't change so if the players look out the window they'll be able to see, erm golden sand, as the casino is still situated opposite the beach and main strip.

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But, for the 170 or so players already seated in the tournament they'll be hoping to leave the sunbathing, swimming and lounging around to Day 1B as today, for them at least, it's all about the poker.

They'll be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Idan Greenberg and Petar Zografov who won the event here in Seasons 1 and 2 respectively; indeed Zografov is in the field today. Whilst the saying goes that you can only lose a tournament on Day 1, to put themselves in a position to have a shot of winning the €1,000 main event on subsequent days this is what they'll have to do.

Today (and by extension tomorrow) the players will play nine one-hour levels with a break after every two and a one hour dinner break after level six, that should take us to around 11pm local time. They'll start with 20,000 chips and blinds or 25-50 so plenty of play to be had.

On Friday it'll be Day 2, the money bubble should be reached and eclipsed before on Day 3 the remaining players play down to the final table of eight. Then on Sunday the final table itself will take place.

A few players will though win there way into the other event that takes place on Sunday - a €165 turbo deepstack. As long as the player has entered the Full Tilt promotion - which they can do on site - then if they're the first player out on Day 1A or 1B or if they eliminate one of the Full Tilt Eureka Tour Ambassadors then they'll win a seat to that event.

The cards are now in the air, for the first two and a half days expect longer posts about once an hour, then when the money bubble approaches I'll be switching to more traditional hand for hand coverage.

Remember if English is not your native tongue then you can always whizz this blog through a translator such as google translate.

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Petar Zografov - winner of this event last year

All photos are copyright of Tomas Stacha

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in Eureka Poker Tour