Eureka3 Croatia: Hey it's you from off the telly
If you've ever tuned in to watch Champions League football on a rainy Wednesday night in Slovenia then the face below would be instantly familiar to you. If it's not then that's not an insult either as I doubt many people outside of the UK know who Matt Smith is (the football presenter, not Doctor Who)
You see that face belongs to Dani Bavec and he's just moonlighting at this poker lark. His day job is as a TV host and sports commentator. One of his main gigs is presenting the Champions League show on Kanal A and Planet TV, whilst he also commentates on football and basketball matches on Sport TV.
He is of course also a passionate poker player and as well as playing his two worlds collide when he provides commentary on PokerStars shows on Sport TV and Kanal A and also live commentary on European Poker Tour final tables on Moskisvet.com. And along with Peter Poles he's also well known for hosting the first local poker show in Slovenia, which was called Zvezda pokra (Star of Poker).
Unfortunately for Bavec his poker star is yet to burn bright as he's still searching for his first live cash on a major poker tour. It looks like he might get unlucky again as his stack is currently hovering around the 13,000 mark. But if he doesn't cash I don't think it'll bother him one jot. "Life's just too magic to throw cards around all the time," he said yesterday.
He might have found a new friend in Johnny Lodden as I think there's some mutual appreciation going on. Bevac would like to be better at throwing cards around and Lodden is a huge football fan, who were he not playing poker would like to be playing - or commentating - on football. They'd not met before yesterday's press conference but hit it off.
Lodden himself is struggling at present I just saw him lose half his stack in an all-in pre-flop situation where his pair of fives was out raced by ace-king meaning he's dropped to 9,700.
Tournament Update: Level seven is drawing to a close and players will be on a 15 minute break whilst tournament staff colour up the 25 denomination chips. Just 108 of 173 players remain, the average stack is 32,000 and the blinds are about to go up to 400-800 ante 100.
Bart Lybaert - 7,700
Dag Palovic - 29,000
Dani Bavec - 13,000
Denis Kelemen - 19,000
Hana Soljan - 12,600
Matej Marinovic - 28,000
Matti De Meulder - 34,000
Milan Rakic - 54,000
Nagy Barnabas - 31,700
Petar Zografov - 32,000
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Croatia: Nick Wright. Photos by Ivan Dabac.