Eureka3 Croatia: The Belgians are coming (and going)
They might only be four strong but what a quartet the nation of strong beer, buns containing sultanas and chips with mayo have bought to Eureka3 Croatia.
Opening the batting for the Belgian's are the De Meulder twins. Both Christophe and Matthias are Team PokerStars Pros and between them they have nearly $900,000 in lifetime earnings in live tournaments. I even shared a taxi from the airport with one of them, if was definitely Matti, or was it Christophe? No I jest it was Matti.
He's flying the Belgian flag the highest at the moment, although that isn't very high at all as I just saw him win a pot to get back to starting stack. He was one of four callers of an under-the-gun raise so five players took a K♥8♠8♦ flop. No one bit though and the 4♠ rolled off on the turn.
First to speak the small blind led for 2,250 into a pot of around 4,700 and he picked up calls from the original raiser and Matti. The Q♠ completed the board (and a flush draw), both players checked and after mulling over his action for quite some time De Meulder bet 5,300 which was around half his remaining stack. It was big enough to get both players off the pot though.
His brother though had one of those days where nothing went right, he lost half his stack right away running kings into aces and that sort of set the tone. First he folded queen-ten only for the flop to come Q-Q-8 and then he folded a straight flush sort of...
It wasn't long before he was out and in his own words, 'had a free afternoon.'
The third member of the quartet is non other than Bart Lybaert, yeah the guy who won the last one of these! His victory at Eureka Roazadov was his break out moment and he's since gone on to cash on the EPT. And he's got an EPT regular to his left, as Johnny Lodden is his neighbour. Not exactly the position you want to be in with a stack of just 5,425.
The last member of the group is probably the least recognisable although that might not be the case for long. Wim Neys is a player I recognise from working on another PokerStars tour - the UKIPT - he went deep at UKIPT London finishing fifth and winning £33,860, he was railed that day by the De Meulder's. And he also has a Estrellas Poker Tour main event final table to his name, he finished fourth at an event in Valencia in March 2012. In all he's got over $125,000 in lifetime winnings, but he won't be adding to them in the main event here in Dubrovnik. He ran king-queen into jacks and lost the flip.
Tournament Update: The players are on a one hour dinner break, 126 of 173 who started reamin. I don't yet have the official pay out structure but will post it when I do. I'm told that 32 players will make the money though.