Eureka5 Hamburg Day 1A: Survival is the name of the game

It's become a bit of a cliché to say that day ones of poker tournaments are all about survival but there's a lot of truth within those words. Actually, survival is the name of the game, in more ways than one, in Hamburg today.

The Spielbank Schenefeld is loaded with players trying to make Day 2 and the Imtech Arena will be packed at 3:30pm CET as Hamburg SV try and avoid relegation to the second tier of German football. The Bundesliga has reached the final round of fixtures for the season and (amazingly) five teams are in danger of being relegated, with four of those five playing each other for added excitement and tension.

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Hamburg SV's Imtech Arena

Hamburg SV isn't one of those of those teams as they host Schalke, one of the nation's richest teams. Schalke have had a bad season though (confirmed fifth place for no Champions League qualification) and their expectant fans want to see a strong performance to finish off a disappointing campaign. If the Schalke fans staying in our hotel are anything to go by they'll be in strong voice this afternoon. Beers were flowing from breakfast time (we are in Germany!) and by midday the lobby was full of fans singing club songs.

For the sake of Day 1B we hope that Hamburg SV get the result they need and stay in the Bundesliga. If they get relegated some fans/poker players might stay away or turn up and play in a depressed state of mind.

As the second level of the day came to an end, a total of 99 players had taken their seats. That's half the daily cap but registration remains open for another four levels. All those 99 players remain in their seats as no one has been eliminated as yet. The flip side of that fact is that no big stacks have emerged at this early stage.

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Jan Von Halle

Some notables, who will be featured later include Intelli Poker founder Jan Von Halle; Maria-Isabella Von Perger, mother of tour regular Jamilla; Alem Shah, who came fifth at the EPT5 Grand Final for €350,000; EPT3 Baden winner, Duc Thang Nguyen (yet to take his seat) and LAPT Panama Main Event runner up from two weeks ago, Olga Iermolcheva.

Eureka Hamburg Key Facts:
- Players begin with 25,000 chips (an increase from Season 4's 20,000)
- Blinds start at 25/50
- 10 - 12 45-minute levels make up Day 1A
- 45-minute dinner break after level 6 (roughly 6pm)
- Registration will close around 6pm.

Marc Convey
@The_Conv in Eureka Poker Tour