Eureka3 Croatia: You've got to be in it to win it
There are many poker sayings that you'll hear on media row at most every poker tournament, one of those is, "You can't win a tournament on Day 1." Usually this is followed up by the addendum of, "but you can certainly lose it."
It's a phrase born of experience and backed up by statistics. The Day 1 chip leader rarely wins the tournament, often they don't even cash. Go a little deeper and you'll probably find some correlation between a good start and a good finish though, but why let facts get in the way of a good story?
The point is players employ various different methods to hang onto their tournament life in the early stages. Perhaps because there's a gravitas attached to making Day 2 that is probably unwarranted, almost certainly because many have travelled a fair distance to play and definitely because it's no fun being back in your hotel room before the antes have kicked in.
There's the Phil Hellmuth tactic of simply turning up late and missing the opening levels and then there are some that are employed when you're actually at the table. Such as...
Reading a book: Stelyan Georgiev did get back to making reads at the table shortly after this photo was taken.
Listening to music: Chewing on your headphone cords optional.
And, browsing the interwebs.
Of course whilst these methods might stop players losing chips, there's an argument to be had that they also stop players accumulating chips as they're all distracting focus from the game in hand.
Tournament Update: Level four is in effect, the running antes have kicked in as blinds are up to 100-200 ante 25. Of the 103 players who started, 94 remain.
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Croatia: Nick Wright. Photos by Ivan Dabac.