The most exciting tournament of this year’s PokerStars European Poker Tour Prague kicked off on Wednesday and managed to draw in a strong entry field of 371 players. Collecting a massive stack of nearly 300,000 in chips, Greek poker pro John Saralis emerged as Main Event Day 1A chip leader and will return as one of the favourites for the title on Friday.
As cards for Day 1B of the PokerStars EPT Prague €5,300 Main Event went into the air at noon today, the first 170 survivors from the first flight were already known. The tournament started Wednesday as the highlight of the 2018 PokerStars EPT Prague, one of the largest and most anticipated poker festivals in the Czech Republic. It runs from December 7 until December 18 at the Casino Atrium Prague located inside the contemporary Hilton Prague hotel. The €5,300 Main Event is expected to attract hundreds of players during the two starting flights and collect a total prize pool of at least €2.5 million.
After a long day of poker action on Wednesday, the 371 entry field was chopped to less than half of it and a total of 170 players survived. They are led by Greece’s John Saralis who bagged 297,400 in tournament chips after taking a great advantage in the last two levels. It will be a tough race to the final table for Saralis, however, as he has never finished first in an official live poker tournament. Moreover, he has a strong competition, including legendary Finnish high-roller Patrik Antonius who finished with a stack of 209,600 and at the unofficial fourth place.
Second in the temporary chip lead is Xixiang Luo (China) who has no experience on the European live poker scene but has managed to bag 241,900 in tournament chips. He is followed by Joris Rujis (Netherlands) and his 236,800. Successful Scottish poker pro Niall “Firaldo” Farrell has 200,300 in chips, while Toronto-based Parker Talbot bagged 191,900. The other famous name here is Andras Nemeth – the Hungarian finished with 165,200 in tournament chips and with his runner-up position in the €50,000 Super High Roller, he is considered one of the favourites for the Main Event final table.
High Expectations for €5,300 Main Event Day 1B
The PokerStars EPT Prague €5,300 Main Event has prepared seven straight days of poker action for all grinders in Prague this year. Day 1B started exactly at noon this Thursday and comes with the same structure as the first starting flight on Wednesday – 10 levels will be played, each lasting an hour.
Players get a starting stack of 30,000 at 100/100 blinds and those who did not manage to get through the first day have a chance to try their skills once again. A single re-entry is allowed, which means that players can buy in a total of two times.
— PokerStarsBlog (@PokerStarsBlog) December 13, 2018
Based on the popularity of the previous PokerStars-sponsored EPT Prague Main Events, the tournament is expected to attract a huge field and probably even exceed the total prize pool in 2016 of €5,781,200. Back then, the event drew in 1,192 entries and champion Jasper Van Putten received a cash prize of €699,300. In 2015, the Main Event was won by Hossein Ensan who took home an even better prize of €754,510. A total of 1,044 entries were registered, contributing to a prize pool of €5,063,400.