“They always have aces!” a participant cried, frustrated by the fact that every shortstack seemed to have the absolute nuts. It was bubble time for the players down at the King’s Casino, Rozvadov, Czech Republic.
And it all started 20 minutes after Victor Azan was eliminated in 73rd place. Only 71 players out of the 151 who started Day 2 were getting paid so somebody had to play the unfortunate role of the bubble boy. But nobody really wanted to. First, Tasho Sehitaj slow-played his bullets on all three streets against Eureka Vienna winner Zoltan Gal.
Next, Kevin Barkow doubled up after hitting the cold-stoned nuts on the turn with a set of big bad cowboys. Also, Ilie Smintanca-Januszewski refused to leave the tourney in 72nd place and shoved his last four blinds with #ah#kh. He eventually got called but his opponent was a big underdog with #ah#8s.
The next try at bursting the bubble was another failure. “We have an all-in and a call,” the tournament director announced one hour after the last elimination. “The all-in player has aces.” That’s when the cry was heard throughout the room.
Thirty minutes later, the frustrated player was finally relieved. Jens Winkler was forced to go all-in with his last chips and two players called to see a #6c#2d#ah#9c#10d showdown. Winkler had only #qc#3s, while the winner of that particular pot, Mateusz Martewicz, flipped over #10s#8s.
And since all players had at least €1,840 secured after that, the last four levels were fast and furious and brought the field down to just 24 to end Day 2. And now, just hours before the start of Day 3, Belgium’s Bert Geens has the big chip lead as the only player with a one-million stack. His breakthrough came late in the day while winning a 500,000 flip with #ah#ks.
The second biggest stack is owned by former EPT Vienna winner Michael Eiler; if he takes down Eureka Rozvadov, he will have the unique opportunity to become the only poker player to win both an EPT and a Eureka Main Event.
Christian Jambor, Martin Meciar, and Martewicz complete the top 5, having an advantage chip-wise against the rest of the field to reach the final table.
Day 3 will start at 2 PM local time and will set the stage for the eight-handed final table that will be played on Tuesday.