Eureka3 Czech Republic: Devilish Dane Mark Bech bags up most on Day 1A
It's easier than you think to get to King's Casino, Rozvodov, even though it's more than 150 kilometres from most airports. There's a shuttle that will bring you here from either Prague or Munich and the simplest way to describe the style of driving is to say that it feels an awful lot closer than that. (Added bonus: you'll also get to see your whole life flashing before your eyes at least a handful of times.)
For all the efforts of getting here, however, there are an awful lot of people who apparently can't wait to leave. We had 123 players signing up for the opening flight of the Eureka Poker Tour event today, but by the end of eight levels only 46 of them remained.
Mark Bech, of Denmark, emulated some of the drivers on the Czech motorway in the way he suddenly appeared as if from nowhere and then overtook everyone else. The PokerStars qualifier has a couple of EPT cashes to his name, and made a final table in a side event at this year's PCA. He has taken that experience and translated it into an early chip-leading stack of 124,400 on this, the first stop of the third season of the Eureka Poker Tour.
Assuming his car is fitted with a rear-view mirror, Bech will see some rich talent not far behind. Marius Pospiech would have been the leader himself had he have won a 100,000-chip flip against Alex Staengle in the last level of the day. As it is, Pospiech, a former winner at Snowfest, finished with 101,300, just behind Staengle's 111,900.
Another Snowfest winner - from the era when it featured on the European Poker Tour (EPT) - is also in the mix. Vladimir Geshkenbein brought one of the biggest reputations with him to Rozvadov and didn't disappoint. He has 73,2000 going into day two.
We did, however, lose some other big names. Michael Keiner was one of the first out, meaning no Team PokerStars Pros made it through Day 1A. (Keiner was the only one who played.) Eddy Sharf perished late on, a few hours after his fellow bracelet winner Jan-Peter Jachtmann took a tumble.
Tomorrow is another day, and it promises to be at least twice as big. Team PokerStars Pros Christophe De Meulder, Sandra Naujoks and Jan Heitmann are on their way, likewise Grzegorz Mikielewicz of Team Online and sponsored pros Symeon Naydenov and Matej Marinovic.
There's also a huge super satellite under way, which promises to swell the field, and word spreading through the poker community that this event is not to be missed. There's a €500,000 guaranteed prize pool and it's only €1,000 to buy in. Get yourself in a taxi to Rozvadov. You'll be here in a jiffy.
Full counts from the surviving players will appear on the chip-counts page as soon as we have them. Join us again tomorrow.
Goodnight for now.