Eureka Prague: Day 1A, Level 1-4 updates (blinds 100-200)
4.15pm: Break time
That's the end of level four, meaning the players are on a 15 minute break. You'll find level five updates in a new post shortly.
4.05pm: Stam the man
It's no wonder that Robin Stam was smiling at the denouement of the following hand as he now has a stack of 36,000 and is one of the chip leaders.
From middle position he pot was opened to 450 by Beslan Vedizhev, it passed to Stam who three-bet to 1,500, call from Vedizhev.
Both players checked the J♠7♥[10h] flop, to see the 5♠ land of the turn. This prompted a bet of 1,900 from Stam, Vedizhev min-raised to 3,800 (although he made it 3,700 originally and was forced to put in an extra 100) and Stam made the call.
The 7♦ completed the board, when it checked to him Vedizhev bet 6,000, Stam swiftly called and Vedizhev mucked his hand, meaning Stam didn't have to show his. After that hand Stam climbs to 36,000 whilst Vedizhev slips to 7,600.
3.45pm: There's no easy way to say this but...
It's the end of the Eureka Prague road for: Alexey Krashennikov, Dmitry Vitkind, Karita Uibonurm, Andrey Kuznetsov, Roussos-Vartholomaios Koliakoudakis, Dariusz Paszkiewicz, Grasu Alin Gabriel and Andreas Krause.
Meanwhile the total number of entrants has crept up to 214 and there's still another two levels and a dinner break before late registration closes.
3.25pm: Chip counts
Here are the chip counts of some of the names and notables in today's field: Ladislav Mika (26,000), Raigo Aasmaa (12,525), a rueful looking David Vamplew (11,300), Jens Kerper (15,600) and Radim Soudsky (13,000).
I'll be updating the chip counts page throughout the day as big stacks emerge and bust outs occur.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 100-200
3.10pm: Ins and outs
Drip, drip, drip, the total number of entrants continues to rise, 205 last time I checked the massive tournament projection at the back of the tournament arena. Of those 205 just 190 remain, among the 15 players who've hit the rail already today are: Radu Catoiu, Timur Margolin, Marko Martinkovic, Liutauras Armanavicius, Bela Toth and Cassio Pisapia De Almeida Kiles who had come all the way from Brazil for this event.
Luck Skill of the Irish
I'm pretty certain David Lappin is the only Irish player in the field today and he's doing a good job of representing the Emerald Isle as he's up to 25,000. "No big pots," he told me. "Just been slowly chipping up.
2.45pm: Big pot for Staszko
I just saw 2011 WSOP Main Event runner-up Martin Staszko win a crucial pot, one that ended with him being all-in no less.
From a stack of around 10,350, he raised to 325 from the button, the small blind flat called, only for the big blind to bump it up to 950, Staszko was the only caller. The two protagonists went heads-up to a 3♣7♠K♠ flop, bet of c-bet of 1,150, call from Staszko.
The Q♥ fell on fourth street, it was checked to Staszko who fired a bet of 2,000 and after checking how much he had back, the big blind made the call. The [10h] completed the board and when it checked to Staszko he quickly moved all-in for 5,225 total. After dwelling up the big blind folded and Staszko showed the 2♠ as he stacked his new found chips.
2.32pm: A few more faces
I've spotted a few faces hoping that they'll be a home victory at Eureka Prague - ok I'll admit that the PokerStars blog Czech photographer Tomas Stacha might have had a hand in it too.
Either way I can tell you that Martin Staszko, Ladislav Mika and Jaroslav Urban - who came fifth at Eureka Prague in Season 1 - are all playing today.
2.22pm: Play back underway
Players are back in their seats and level three is underway, blinds are now 75 - 150.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75-150
2.07pm: Break time
That's two levels down, as such players are now on a 15 minute break.
2pm: Contrasting fortunes
A couple of players who've had success on the tour this season are off to markedly different starts here in Prague.
Sadly for Dariusz Paszkiewicz, his day is not going well as the Pole, who finished third at Eureka Latvia is down to just 6,700.
Wheras Algirdas Saveikis is nudging 18,000. I saw the Eureka Bulgaria runner-up take down a pot. After an open to 250 from the hijack and a flat call from the cut-off Saveikis made it 775 on the button, only the cut-off called.
On the A♠3♦6♣ flop, a c-bet of 675 from Saveikis was enough to win the pot.
1.45pm: 195 and rising
The number of players is slowly inching upwards and currently stands at 195. A couple of players (be they latecomers or otherwise) that I've spotted are David Lappin - the Irishman has so far only had success in side events on the Eureka Poker Tour, but will be looking to put that right here, he's upticked slightly to 17,000.
And Dariusz Paszkiewicz, who finished third at Eureka Latvia in October, is also in the field today.
1.30pm: A curious hand
One hundred big blind pots are somewhat rare at this stage of a tournament so I imagine that the onlookers at table eight (who included EPT7 London winner David Vamplew) were quite keen to see the cards of those involved.
Sadly they were denied, as on the river of a [10c]3♦Q♦7♠2♣ board the in position player bet 2,025 into a pot of 6,000 but mucked his hand when he was called. This meant the caller didn't have to show his hand and collected the pot without giving any information away.
1.15pm: His lucky hat
I've just spotted Algirdas Saveikis at table seven. To be honest it's hard not to as the Eureka Poker Tour regular is decked out in his trademark 'lucky' Barcelona fedora.
The Lithuanian is currently in fifth place on the Eureka Leaderboard, thanks in the main to finishing second to Petar Zografov at Eureka Bulgaria. Although, Saveikis proved that was no fluke as he followed it up with an 11th place finish at Eureka Lativa in October.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50-100
The tables in the tournament room are pretty tightly packed together, you'd need hips like Shakira or moves like Jagger to snake your way through them without having to tap someone on the shoulder and say 'excuse me'.
Needless to say this blogger is now furiously typing 'excuse me' into google translate, but from near (and far) I've spotted EPT7 London winner David Vamplew and a couple of players who've had success on other tours. They are Jens Kerper and Raigo Aasmaa, the latter took down an event last year at the Prague Poker festival - the name by which the multitude of events that take place in Prague during December has become known - and is clearly back for more. Although, Aasmaa's victory in Prague last December was not his biggest live cash, that came when he finished third at EPT8 Tallinn.
12.30pm: Numbers and late registration
The board is showing that 165 players are currently registered and/or in their seats for Day 1A of Eureka Prague.
Expect that number to rise as the day goes on though as late registration is open for six levels. That's six hours, well seven and a half in fact as it'll include the one hour dinner break and two 15 minute breaks. So if you're in Prague and want to play today then you've got until approximately 7.45pm local time to register.
If any player were to jump in at the latest possible juncture the blinds would be 200 - 400 ante 50 at that point, so a starting stack of 15,000 would equate to 37.5 big blinds.
That'd be 37.5 big blinds more than one unlucky player who's already busted. I'm still waiting on a player list so can't put a name to his I.D number just yet.
12.15pm: Cards are in the air
The action is underway here in Prague.
12.05pm: Welcome to Eureka Prague
We're going to need a bigger blog...
Eureka Prague is, quite frankly, going to blow all previous events this season out of the water. A field of around 600 is expected over two starting days. The final event of Season 2 plays to its conclusion this Sunday, just as EPT Prague gets underway.
There's much more than mere money to play for as the winner of the Eureka Poker Tour Season 2 leader board will get free entry to an EPT9 main event, second place will win two Eureka Season 3 main event entries and third one Eureka Season 3 main event entry. In fact the top 15 will win a prize worth at least €215. It's an incredibly close race as the top five are separated by less than 10 points and they've all qualified to this event.
Eureka Poker Tour Season 2 leader board:
1st. Michal Misterek, 117.65
2nd. Petar Zografov, 116.5
3rd .Alija Filipovic, 111.5
4th. Nagy Barnabas, 111.05
5th. Algirdas Saveikis, 107.75
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Prague:Nick Wright. Photos by Tomas Stacha.