Eureka3 Croatia: PokerStars qualifier Christian Kolke leads after Day 1

The second of two flights was the day when the big guns came to town and the field was not only bigger in size, but reputation. But, the old adage of the bigger you are the harder you fall came to pass an unknown PokerStars Qualifier topped a Day 1B field of 180 to forge ahead as the overall chip leader and leave a slew of PokerStars Team Pros, Full Tilt Poker Ambassadors and past winners eating dust.

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Kolke crushed the field to lead

Such was Christian Kolke's disbelief at ending the day as chip leader he couldn't count his stack properly. He initially totted it up at just 98,500. Even my untrained eyes could tell he had 75,000 in 5,000 chips and another 40,000 in 1,000 chips. Add in the shrapnel and he actually finished on 156,800. He'll take the overall lead into Day 2.

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Zeljka Kvastek

Roughly 70 players made it through Day 1B and Kolke wasn't the only one to break the 100,000 mark. Others taking a six-figure stack into level 10 (blinds 500-1,000 ante 100) include: Bozsó Achilles (125,800), Zeljka Kvastek (121,600) and Goran Mandic (119,000).

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An up, down and ultimately up day for Palovic

A player who came close to joining that exalted company was Team PokerStars Pro Dag Palovic. The Slovakian hit some dizzying heights, got it in for his tournament life in bad shape and sucked out and generally had one of those days at the table that was fun to watch if not play. He eventually finished on 91,500, "A good day, a real roller coaster," was his succinct summing up.

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Matti flew the Red Spade with aplomb

It total four Team PokerStars Pros entered the fray on Day 1B, only one other member of the quartet would survive the day though. "No complaints," was the verdict of Matti De Meulder as he bagged and tagged his stack of 67,400.

Unfortunately his twin brother Christophe and Johnny Lodden couldn't join him in making Day 2. The former ran kings into aces early on and generally had one of those days where nothing goes right. Whilst Lodden, fresh off a deep run in SCOOP, grinded hard before losing a flip for most of his stack.

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Lodden couldn't SCOOP any chips

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Christophe crashed and burned

It was also a case of better luck next time for the two Full Tilt Poker Ambassadors in the field today as both Hana Soljan and Andras Nemeth hit the rail. As did PokerStars Sponsored player Dani Bevac, although his colleageue Matej Marinovic progressed with a stack of 59,700.

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Marinovic motors on

He'll be back along with Eureka2 Bulgaria winner Petar Zografov (23,000) when play gets underway at noon local time tomorrow. The plan will be to get as close to the final table as possible, whilst 40 of those who return will get paid. I'll post the full payout structure when I receive it tomorrow, whilst overnight chip counts will also be posted when available.

Until tomorrow it's goodnight from Dubrovnik

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All photos are copyright of Ivan Dabac.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in Eureka Poker Tour