The first of two starting days for the crown jewel of the rescheduled 2021 PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) Prague festival has concluded in the Czech capital. It was a very promising start for the €5,300 EPT Main Event in the King's Casino at the Hilton Hotel Prague as 377 unique players and 41 entries created a field of 418 total entries.
It surpassed the 391 entries the very same tournament attracted during the last live edition back in 2019 and showcases a strong turnout across all events so far during the return to live poker for PokerStars' flagship series. After eight levels of 60 minutes each, only 134 players advanced and a familiar name appeared at the top of the leaderboard. The 2018 WSOP Europe Main Event champion Jack Sinclair sailed through the day and accumulated a stack of 317,900. He was very closely followed by Sharon Sade (312,200) while Ezequiel Waigel (258,800) occupies the final spot on the overnight podium.
EPT Prague €5,300 Main Event Day 1a Top 10 Counts
|Position||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds for Day 2|
|1||Jack Sinclair||United Kingdom||317,900||199|
|9||Duco ten Haven||Netherlands||177,200||111|
Notables with above average stacks include Daniel Dvoress (237,200), Manuel Fischer (211,600), Karolis Sereika (169,000), Manuel Fritz (157,700), Pablo Brito Silva (126,700), Teun Mulder (115,800), Conor Beresford (114,800), Martin Pineiro (111,100), and Jordan Westmorland (109,600) to name all but a few familiar faces of the live poker circuit.
The PokerStars ambassadors Ramon Colillas (147,000) and Alejandro "Papo MC" Lococo (139,200) also had a productive day at the poker tables and advanced with very healthy stacks. For Lococo, it was a stellar finish to a remarkable day as he won the €1,100 Eureka Main Event earlier on before late-regging the marquee event. Steve Enriquez will join them for Day 2 with 53,300 while Sam Grafton and Parker Talbot were both eliminated.
Former EPT Main Event champions to bow out included Kalidou Sow, Davidi Kitai, Jasper Meijer Van Putten, Piotr Nurzynski, Simon Brandström, Ognyan Dimov, and Hossein Ensan. More fortunate were Uri Gilboa (80,000), Remi Castaignon (77,500), Dominik Panka (66,800), Dimitar Danchev (64,700), as they all retained the chance to become the third two-time champion in EPT history.
The rise of Waigel started very early on as he dominated the first half of the day and quickly amassed a massive stack, soaring past seven times what he started with prior to the dinner break. Sinclair followed on his heels after winning several larger showdown pots and eventually rose to the top in the final level, beating Sade by a few big blinds only.
The High Roller regulars Thomas Muehloecker and Tom Vogelsang were just two of numerous notable casualties throughout Day 1a. Muehloecker was on the wrong end of a cooler when he improved on each street to a full house with ace-seven suited only to run into the aces full of Santiago Plante. For Vogelsang, the end came with a dominated pocket pair as fours couldn't beat the kings of Ranno Sootla.
With nearly two thirds of the contenders already gone, all those that bowed out just once can take advantage of the single re-entry option for the flagship tournament. A significantly bigger field is expected for Day 1b, which will get underway at noon local time on Friday, March 11, 2022. The late registration remains open until the start of Day 2 and that's also when the live stream on the PokerStars Twitch and YouTube channels will kick off as well.
As usual, the PokerNews live reporting team will be on the floor from start to finish to provide as many of the key hands as possible en route to crowning the next EPT Main Event champion.