Eureka2 Latvia: Day 1B, Level 9 - 10 updates (blinds 500-1,000 ante 100)
1.55am: In it to Finn it: Joni Nenonen leads Day 1B field
When late registration slammed shut at the end of level two today a total of 141 players had paid their money. Coupled with the 137 from Day 1A they created a total field of 278 for the inaugural Eureka Latvia main event. When numbers had been crunched, that meant that the winner of this €1000 event will take home €68,800, the loser of the final hand will pocket €43,700 and 32 players will take home at least €1,750. To check out the full payout structure click here.
After 10 levels of play the man from this flight with the best chance of getting his hands on the lion's share of the prize pool is Joni Nenonen, he bagged up 144,600 to finish the day as chip leader.
The 20-year old is a professional poker player from Helsinki, Finland and this is his first Eureka poker tour event. "I've been here three times before," he told me. "I really like Riga so wanted to come and play this event." The Finn told me that he'd spent the day grinding and his stack wasn't down to one big pot in particular. Given that his bread and butter are online tournaments that's a routine he knows well.
Other players who enjoyed a good day at the felt were: Agnius Ismailovas (99,700) Lauri Valtteri Merikallio (97,700) and Ghattas Kortas (90,800). Full overnight chip counts can be found here.
Whilst there were no team pros in the field today, at the start of play there was a very interesting table match up. Sat side by side were Imre Leibold and Kaspers Renga. The two are, respectively, the leading all time tournament money winners in Estonia and Latvia. Cards have no memory or respect for reputations though and Leibold was out early whilst Renga made it through with 27,300.
But where they failed 46 others succeeded and they join the 35 survivors from Day 1A. The first order of the day will be to reduce the field of 81 to 32 and then play on till the final table is reached. Those in the know inform me that'll take around nine levels of play. Chip leader when play begins tomorrow will be Guntis Aleskins who'll start with 216,400. The day two seat draw can be viewed here.
To catch up with all today's action click the links below, level 9-10 updates can be found by scrolling downwards.
For now that's' all from the PokerStars blog team in Riga, we'll be back for Day 2 tomorrow, join us for all the action from 1pm local time.
12.55am: Done for the day
And that's it for Day 1B in Riga, a full wrap of today's play will be forthcoming in this post shortly.
12.35am: Last three hands
The clock has been paused and the last three hands announced. Unless something dramatic happens Joni Nenonen is going to end the day as chip leader as I can't see anyone else with a stack over 100,000, 46 players remain.
12.20am: Six figure club
As far as I can tell Joni Nenonen is not only the first player to break the 100,000 mark but with a stack of 130,000 is also the chip leader. The Finn has made a late bid to end the day as chip leader.
As Friday turns into Saturday here in Riga, just 52 players are left in Day 1B and the average stack is a shade over 40,000.
As if to signal the start of the weekend, loud 'techno' music has began pumping out the stereo, at least in the media room, if not the tournament area.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 500-1,000 ante 100
11.50pm: Chip counts and chip leaders
Here's a few chip counts from around the room: with 90,000 Tomas Ksenevicius of Lithuania appears to be the current chip leader, he's at the same table as Roman Dolgorukov (75,000) and Ermo Kosk (40,000). The all-time winningest tournament player in Latvia, Kaspers Renga is still going strong, he's got 26,500. And Igor Pihela has 47,000 many thanks to my Estonian correspondent for passing on the chip counts of Phiela and Kosk.
11.30pm: Stikelis gets one through
Mantas Stikelis was made to sweat to get one through just now.
He made it to 1,600 from under-the-gun+1, Gytis Bernatavicius made it 3,800 on the button, the small blind then flat called and action was back on Stikelis. He decided to four-bet and made it 9,000, leaving himself about 38,000 back. This was too rich for Bernatavicius, he quickly folded. But, the small blind was not a man who was ever knowingly hurried. He tanked, tanked some more and then eventually flat called.
The flop fell 9♥3♥7♣ it checked to Stikelis, he fired out a bet of 11,000 and action returned to the small blind. Again he tanked, this time for longer than he did pre-flop, I felt sure someone was going to call the clock and perhaps sensing this he mucked his hand, Stikelis is up to 69,000.
11.10pm: Like bad dog handlers
No one seems able to hold onto a lead. The average stack right now is 34,100, but unlike yesterday when there were two or three players over 100,000 at this point, there are a bunch of players clustered together around the 70,000 mark. One of those is Louis Depraetere, the Belgian is on right around 70,000.
10.50pm: Back we go
And the 68 remaining players are back in their seats for the final two levels of the day. Day 1A ended with 34 of the 137 players still in, so almost half of the field would have to be eliminated for that to happen on Day 1B. So, this could be a fantastic last two levels.
One thing that hasn't returned for level nine are the green 25 chips as they were raced off during the break.
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Lativa: Nick Wright. Photos by Rene Velli.