Saturday, December 10, 2016

Travel Report: EPT13 Prague, Day 2 -- Overflow

As expected, the second and final starting flight of the Eureka Main Event was massive in terms of turnout, with more than 1,400 players coming following the just over 600 who played Day 1a. Was kind of interesting logistically to see how tournament staff organized handling that many players, given that the main tournament room (plus some overflow space just outside it) only really has about 100 tables.

There’s some additional space elsewhere in the Hilton Prague Hotel, and in fact that was used for other events (including the finish of the €10K) and cash games. But the main area was all devoted to the Eureka, or at least for most of the day until they finally played down to under 1,000 players and some tables became available.

With that many wanting to play, later registrants had to wait for seats and so they grouped the alternates in 25-player blocks, seating them every half-hour or so up right up until late afternoon/early evening, just before the dinner break. All went pretty smoothly, it appeared, thanks in large part (I imagine) to advance planning for the eventuality.

As always, it’s a little nuts for just a couple of us to report on such a huge field, with the sheer amount of action happening overflowing the available brain space as well (not to mention physical limits imposed by having to run back and forth from the tourney room to the laptop). Once near the end when there was still 600-plus left I did a full pass gathering chip counts, and thought as I did of that Unibet Open mannequin challenge from last week and that desire to “pause” everything for a couple of minutes in order to catch up.

All went well, though, and in the end 450 made it through from today to join the 168 Day 1a survivors for Sunday’s Day 2. Shyam Srinivasan ended up bagging the most at night’s end, just barely nudging past Gabriel Nassif for the Day 1b lead, although neither had as much as Mathias Jensen ended with the night before, so Jensen will have the lead to start play tomorrow.

Other highlights from the day included breakfast with Mo Nuwwarah who is here for PokerNews and who got in a couple of days early to do some sightseeing. He and I talked NFL football at length, something he does each week on the Gridiron Gamble podcast. Dinner with my blogging partner Jack Stanton was fun as well as we hit the buffet here at the Hilton, a modest one compared to bigger hotel-casinos back home, but fine and convenient for our purposes.

Back at it Sunday, when I’ll be sweating NFL games as well once we get to the evening here. Gonna do a little sightseeing myself in the morning, though, so perhaps I’ll have something more than poker to talk about here tomorrow. Meanwhile, look in over at the PokerStars blog today to see what’s happening with poker in Prague.

Photo: courtesy Tomas Stacha / PokerStars blog.

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