Eureka3 Bulgaria, Day 1B: 400 and counting!
I happened to be on the same flight to Varna from the UK as Jonathan Raab, who is the PokerStars Business Development Manager for National Tours in Europe. In short he's a man who knows the numbers, he knew they'd been 21 qualifiers to Day 1A of the main event from the live satellite held on the Monday. This all boded well, Raab said, for a field of 300, whilst anything in the 320-350 range would be brilliant.
Well in that case I'm not sure what adjective Raab would've uttered as the field just ticked upwards to 215 for today and 400 in total. It's an astonishing achievement given that in Season 1 this stop attracted 308 runners (€730 buy-in) and in Season 2 it dropped to 246 (€1,100 buy-in).
Such is the size of the field today that they've had to utilise the upstairs card room which is usually reserved for cash games. Whilst the players at the four tables in use in that portion of the casino might feel a little adrift from the main event, they can take solace in the fact that they've got plush leather chairs to sit in, veritable premium economy compared to the fabric covered chairs in use in the main card room.
But some players didn't even have time to get their feet under their chair or even get comfy before being asked to leave the tournament, as is the custom when you've lost all of your chips. First man out was Asher Dahan. He was already down to around 8,500 when he got his stack across the line, perhaps optimistically, with 8♠7♥. He was in a bit of bother against Denys Chufarin's pocket queens and despite flopping a gutshot he didn't spike on the T♦6♦K♣J♦5♥ board and was first out. No Full Tilt patch though so no free entry to Sunday's turbo deepstack. The second man to exit was Oshri Cohen, no details on that one I'm afraid or on Jacob Sorensen's elimination.
As for those still in the tournament Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki is up to 22,000 he's reading a book between hands, PokerStars Team Online's Dale Philip is up to 23,000 and hiding behind a pair of dark sunglasses. Sharing the same table are Neil Raine who's up to 33,000 and won a side event here last night and Alain Medesan. The jovial Romanian has been quiet so far, perhaps because he's dropped to 12,500. Elsewhere Phil Baker, who's never knowingly quiet, is up to 23,000, Full Tilt Ambassador Hana Soljan has 20,500, whilst fellow Ambassador Andras Nemeth is on 18,900.
There are a couple of players who made the final here last year playing today, Nagy Barnabas (19,800) and Ted Stolzenbach (23,000) are both still in as is Tim Davie (21,000).
Level two is coming to an end, when the players return from their 15 minute break blinds will be 75-150.
All photos are copyright of Tomas Stacha