PokerStars Championship Prague: Zinno, Alvarado and Cody bag big after €10K HR Day 1

The final flagship tournament of the PokerStars Championship Prague kicked off today, and as expected it had a very big turnout. A mixed field of high roller regulars, relative newcomers, and business men and women turned card sharks made for a very interesting session.

One of those regs, J.C. Alvarado, held the chip lead for much of the latter stages, but ultimately ended proceedings with the fourth largest stack of 272,200. The biggest bag ultimately went to Russia's Roman Emelyanov, who on his second bullet seemed to come from nowhere right at the end to finish with 285,700. Close behind are Guillaume Pau Davy (283,400) and Anthony Zinno (282,000).

Jake Cody also had a strong day, building a big stack early and not letting it slip. He was the sole Team Pro in action today, but repped the red spade well to end with 201,400 following his deep run in the Main Event.


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Good showing from Cody

Come the end of the day there had been a total of 247 entrants (including 56 re-entries), by after the full ten 60-minute level session just 102 survived. Registration is open until the start of play tomorrow though, so that number is sure to increase. Once play gets underway we'll be able to bring you the official payouts and prize pool.

Some hands make and break players simultaneously, and we saw a few of those this evening (to find out how things played out in the pre-dinner levels, check our recap here).

Ben Heath and Mustafa Kanit had similar stacks of around 120,000 during the penultimate level, but a huge pot eliminated the Italian and shot Heath up the chip counts.

In on his second bullet, Heath three-bet an open to 7,500 (with the blinds at 600/1,200) only for Mustafa Kanit to make it 20,500 on the button. It folded back to Heath and he came in for a five-bet to 37,500, and Kanit six-bet jammed for it all. Heath snapped it off with his pocket aces, and Kanit tabled ace-king-off which couldn't find any help. Kanit exited, and Heath was suddenly one of the room's biggest stacks.


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Nice spin up for Heath

While that pot wasn't unusual, Eric Sfez's bust out to Antoine Saout earlier in the night certainly was. The blinds were 400/800 at this point and Sfez had three-bet an open to 5,200 on the button. Saout four-bet from the small blind to 13,300 which only Sfez called to see a J♥8♥2♦ flop. Saout counted out some chips, but before he could even make a bet Sfez announced he was all-n for 38,000! Saout snap-called with the A♥A♣, and Sfez's K♣8♣ couldn't catch up. Saout ended the day with 168,600.


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Saout sends Sfez out

It was nice to see US business mogul Lauren Roberts in today's field, however she couldn't survive the day. Some players who have already busted their two bullets include Max Silver, Stefan Schillhabel and Viacheslav Goryachev. Meanwhile, the shortest surviving stacks belong to Ping Lin (15,800), Bartlomiej Machon (22,100), and Matthew Moss (23,400).

You can view all the chip counts here, but here's a quick look at the top 10 overnight chip counts:

NameCountryStatusEntry infoChips
Roman EmelyanovRussia Re-Entered285700
Guillaume Pau DavyFrance  283400
Anthony ZinnoUSA  282000
JC AlvaradoMexico  272200
Fahredin MustafovBulgaria  250000
Ben HeathUK Re-Entered243600
Artan DedushaUK  232000
Bernhard HaiderAustria  213000
Boris KolevBulgaria  208700
Benjamin ChalotFrance  205000

To look back over today's live updates, head over to our friends at PokerNews. Action resumes at 12:30pm tomorrow, and we'll be on hand to bring you interviews and features throughout the day. Until then, get some shut-eye.

Photos by René Velli.


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Jack Stanton
@J_W_Stanton in Prague