Eureka5 Rozvadov: Time to Innovate

Jonathan Raab, PokerStars Business Development Manager for Europe, and has always been known as an innovator within the industry. In fact, he won the Poker Staff Person of the Year at the 2008 European Poker awards due to his innovative ideas.

Poker bloggers around the world can be thankful for the Media ID cards players have next to their stacks - an original Raab idea.

Raab helped to create, and now oversees, the Eureka Poker Tour so it comes as no surprise that Raab is using this tour to try and take tournament poker forward, and keep it fresh.

The first idea put into practice is to have Day 1A several days before any further starting flights. There are a couple of thought processes behind this idea:

Firstly, it offered local players (and those further afield) the chance to play on a weekend, meaning they wouldn't have to take a day off work until they were safely through to Day 2. Secondly, it offered players flexibility on how to structure their festival. Those just interested in the Main Event can come for Day 1B and compact their trip into a few days. Those who want to play as much as possible can play Day 1A and then have a few days to cram in side events, or play cash games as they wish.


Oghabian took full advantage of the early Day1A

Day 1A here in Rozvadov played out four days ago, on Saturday, and attracted 98 players. A total of 24 players made it through, with Langar Oghabian topping the counts with 258,900.

Those who didn't make it through, and those that bust today, still have an opportunity to make Day 2 due to the second major innovation being trialled this week.

There will be a Day 1C Turbo flight starting tonight at 10pm and will only be open to those players who have already played and busted.

There have always been arguments for and against re-entry tournaments. Those against it say it favours players with bigger bankrolls as they're willing to gamble more on their first entry, gaining an advantage over those who are playing it as a freeze out.

Those for argue that some players can travel a long way to play a tournament, incurring lots of costs, and would like more than one opportunity to make a deep run.

By having Day 1C organised in this way, players have a second opportunity to make Day 2 but - crucially, due to the turbo structure - would prefer to get through on their first entry and are more likely to play it as a freeze out, negating any perceived advantage a standard re-entry tournament would offer them.

Time will tell if these changes have been a success. One thing is for sure though: if you don't try, you'll never know!


Martin Kabrel has leapt out into an early on Day 1B after an early double up.

The former EPT Deauville High Roller Champion flopped a full house versus Sergei Popov and went on the bet all three streets. Popov called all the way, including all in on the river, but couldn't beat Kabrel.

Popov was joined on the rail by Cem Doganlar and Max Georg Leipold before the players went on their first break of the day, at the end of the second level.

The most interesting table in the room had seen Team PokerStars Pro Matthias De Meulder sat to the right of British Pro, and star of Shark Cage, Sam Grafton. The latter, who recently moved to Prague, just smiled at the prospect of what might occur between the two today.

Due to the large number of players today, Tournament Director Thomas Lamatsch, announced to the room that half the players will break for dinner after level 5, with the other half breaking a level later. Then all players will reconvene to play out the last four levels of the day.


Big and little Thomas Lamatsch

Eureka Rozvadov Key Facts:

- Players begin with 25,000 chips (an increase from Season 4's 20,000)
- Blinds start at 25/50
- Eleven 45-minute levels make up Day 1B and play will finish around 12:10 AM
- Registration will close at 7pm.
- 376 players have registered for Day 1B so far
- Day 1C scheduled for 10pm

Marc Convey
@The_Conv in Eureka Poker Tour