Eureka3 Croatia: Short-handed but not short changed

The definition of short-handed poker is sort of a grey area. Through the proliferation of six-max tables online both for tournaments and cash games we know that six-max definitely is, eight-handed and above definitely isn't and seven-handed falls somewhere in-between. Seven-handed poker is, you could argue, the pocket jacks of the premium hands, is it a top-tier hand or not? Depends who you ask.

Most major PokerStars tours play full-ring, that is nine-handed for most of the event (some tours, like the EPT go eight handed as soon as possible), so unless you reach the business end of a poker tournament or the event is specifically designated as a six-max tournament you'll not play that much short-handed poker. And if you do you certainly won't be playing it 400 big blinds deep.

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Seats wait for bums to sit on them

But, that has been the case for most of the tables this opening level. A walk around the tournament room reveals that most tables have only six or seven players seated at them, a couple of empty chairs, usually the eight and nine seat wait to be filled by late comers, late risers and those who were late to bed. Halfway through the level only one table had eight players seated with chips and cards in front of them.

So, that all points to an action filled level right? Fewer players, should mean more hands per level, a greater chance for action and an increased likelihood of a cooler taking place and busting someone. Hand values should decrease and even pocket jacks is probably a premium hand with just six or seven players at the table. But, with one level done and dusted not a single soul has been eliminated so far. Full Tilt Poker, who are now also qualifying players to the Eureka events (more on that later today) have offered a $200 reward to the first player busted from the event should they also be wearing a Full Tilt patch. That, as of now, remains unclaimed.

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All stacks are sill intact

The blinds have just ticked up to 50-100, there are now 101 players registered for the tournament but keeping track of who's who could though prove tricky. Us bloggers usually get a copy of the seat draw to help us out with keeping track of players, that combined with an individual ID card that is usually in front of the players stack is a pretty full proof way of identifying a player who you might not know by name of face. However, the seat draw was done manually today and there are no ID cards until Day 2 meaning it's going to be tough to keep track of the chip leaders.

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Croatia: Nick Wright. Photos by Ivan Dabac.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in Eureka Poker Tour