Eureka5 Hamburg Day 1B: Nine-year homecoming wait for Nguyen

It's a big deal to win a European Poker Tour Main Event, a very big deal. It's the richest and toughest tour on the planet. The thing is these days, is that there are over 100 champions so the achievement is somewhat (naturally) diluted.

Take your mind back nine years to 2006. The tour was in its third season; the entry fee had been risen to €5,000 events in the Euro-zone; the poker boom was in fell effect in Europe and there were fewer than 20 EPT champions. Any winner in that era was an immediate national hero for poker fans.

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Ngyuen with his EPT Baden trophy

Thang Duc Nguyen was an unknown baker from Hamburg when he made the trip to Baden, Austria after qualifying for that stop of the EPT. Four days later he had a giant cheque for €487,397 in his hand and 330 players left in his wake. A new hero was born.

Nguyen has had to wait a long time for PokerStars to bring a tournament to his hometown but finally we're here. The local player teased us yesterday about playing as he hung around the tournament floor. Today he is though and doing rather well.

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Nguyen today, finally playing in his hometown

A little earlier he managed to more than double up to 50,000 through Andreas Thiele. Nguyen bet 1,500 into three players on a 6♠9♥Q♦ flop and called when check-raised to 4,000 by Thiele. The other two players folded before the J♣ appeared on the turn.

Nguyen bet out again when checked to and once more called when raised by his opponent. The T♠ completed the board, Nguyen moved all in with K♣T♣ for a straight and was called by Thiele holding A♦9♦!

Nguyen went on a big downswing after that before recovering. He mis-click raised in hand versus Quentin Weber and then decided to gamble in the same hand. He wanted to raise to 425 but accidently raised to 4,025. Weber then raised to 12,000 and called all in for 30,000 with ace-queen after Nguyen shoved with ace-jack. The board ran low and Nguyen was rueing his mistake. Nguyen dropped to 17,000 but recovered to 48,000 by the time the dimer bell rang.

The tournament entires for today has risen to 110 and unless there were some very recent entries, that'll be the final number for the day with registration only open until the end of level 6.

Dinner break is upon us and that also marks the halfway point of the day. Below are some chips counts and those who wished their chip count was more than zero.

Busted: Jamil Omar, Volker Nicolaysen, Amzi Korkmaz, Ben Alacam, Andre Haneberg, Andreas Thiele, Achim Glod, Rama Kusnadi, Marina Seifert, Jonas Hebbeln, Jesper Metz, Charalampos Tzampazis, Johannes Hafemeister, Michael Murra, Dimitry Pavlov

Chip Ahoy:

Kris Willner - 83,000
Thomas Dietl - 76,000
Robert pipe - 72,000
Rene Hussain Majed - 62,000
Michael Oswald - 61,000
Marco Mattes - 50,000
Hans Schmidt - 48,000
Matthias Rauscher - 46,000
Tobias Peters - 42,000
Tim Kahl Meyer - 40,000
Hanno Open - 36,000
Stefan Klam - 17,300

PokerStars have Regional tours, like the EPT and APPT, and Nationals tours like Eureka and UKIPT but treat all as important as the other. That especially goes for the Tournament Directors and Floor staff they send to events. Our photographer Tomas Stacha took a shot of the fine men in charge this week.


Thomas Lamatsch and his fine team

Eureka Hamburg Key Facts:
- Players begin with 25,000 chips (an increase from Season 4's 20,000)
- Blinds start at 25/50
- Twelve 45-minute levels make up Day 1B
- Registration closes for today at around 6pm CET

Marc Convey
@The_Conv in Eureka Poker Tour