After ten levels of 60 minutes each, the first of two starting days of the €5,300 Main Event at the 2019 PokerStars European Poker Tour Prague has concluded with Pierre Calamusa towering above the competition. The French pro plowed his way through a Day 1a field that drew 391 entries — 20 more than last year — and ultimately put 457,000 in his bag, nearly twice the size of his nearest competitor.
Seemingly sporting a massive stack throughout the day, Calamusa did need both of his bullets to amass his piles. After coming up short on his first try early in the day, he fared much, much better with his second chance. Having already racked up over $1.2M in lifetime winnings, Calamusa will be in the driver's seat to add plenty more when the 127 remaining players will return on Friday at noon for Day 2.
While one man hogged the spotlights and stole the show, other notables sporting healthy stacks advanced as well. Rozvadov, Czech Republic's local massage parlor owner Yehuda Cohen, notorious under his alias "ChiKKita BanAAna", bagged a top-five stack with 213,700. Irish transplant, high stakes legend and former EPT champion Steve O'Dwyer also nestled himself among the top stacks in the room and bagged 206,400 to kick off his tournament in style. Stefan Egermann (285,100) and Roland Chassing (248,600) rounded out the top five with 200k+ stacks as well.
Big names such as Aliaksei Boika (156,000), Fahredin Mustafov (138,000), Arsenii Karmatckii (119,500), Dietrich Fast (105,200), Adrian Mateos (104,100), Hossein Ensan (94,800) and Rainer Kempe (23,200) will also be back on Friday after finding a bag after ten levels of 60 minutes.
PokerStars ambassador Kalidou Sow, the 2017 EPT Prague Main Event winner, was one of the two representing the Red Spade on Day 1a, together with PSPC champ Ramon Colillas who busted out. In a big hand with fellow EPT-winner Boika, Sow and Boika both held ace-king against Kimmo Kurko's pocket jacks. The dealer fanned out four wheel cards to keep both Boika and Sow in the tournament, and the pair chopped up most of Kurko's chips in the process. Sow ultimately survived the day with 79,000 in chips and will be back on Friday.
The EPT Main Event offers a single reentry and among those that ran out of one or both of their bullets today were the likes of Davidi Kitai, Sam Greenwood, Ole Schemion, Joris Ruijs and the defending champ, Paul Michaelis. Those that have their second bullet left can opt to reenter on Day 1b, or up until the start of Day 2 if they do so desire.
Day 1b kicks off at noon on Thursday and, like Day 1a, will feature ten levels of 60 minutes each, with a 75-minute dinner break after level 6. Make sure to check back regularly to PokerNews for all the latest from the European Poker Tour in Prague!