Welcome to Day 1b of the 2016 PokerStars EPT Prague Main Event at the Hilton Hotel Prague. Today represents the final opening day in the 13-year EPT Main Event history with all future PokerStars branded tournaments to fall under the umbrella of the PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival.
Yesterday's Day 1a attracted a field of 246 players, just shy of last year's total of 254. Less than half of yesterday's field with 117 players survived to tomorrow's Day 2 to join those making it out of today's final opening day field.
Denmark's Henrik Hecklen ended yesterday on top of the board with 221,800 chips, followed by China's Gang Wang (second - 152,800), Austria's Thomas Muehloecker (third - 151,500), Latvia's Eduards Kudrjavcevs (fourth - 146,100) and Spain's Pedro Lamarca (140,100).
Other notable players to bag chips at the end of yesterday included Tony Dunst (129,500) and Pascal Lefrancois (114,900). Anthony Zinno (64,300), Dario Sammartino (61,000), Daniel Dvoress (58,700), Sergio Aido (55,500), Juha Helppi (48,900) and €50,000 EPT 13 Prague Super High Roller runner-up Charlie Carrel (37,800).
As is usually the case in EPT Main Events, the field size on the final starting flight is expected to be much larger compared to yesterday's first opening flight. The record attendance for an EPT Prague Main Event took place two years ago in season 11 when Stephen Graner finished on top of a field of 1,107 players to win €969,000. Last year in Prague, Hossein Ensan navigated through a slightly smaller field of 1,044 entrants to capture the tournament's top prize of €754,510.
Past EPT Prague Main Event Winners
Our coverage begins at noon CET and continues until the players bag up their chips at around midnight after the completion of eight levels of 75-minutes each. A 20-minute break is scheduled after every second level, with a 75-minute dinner break at the end of the sixth level. After today is in the books, Days 2 to 6 take place from Dec. 13 to 19 until the last EPT Main Event winner in history is crowned.
Also taking place today is the final table of the €2,200 Eureka High Roller as well as the €25,500 Single-Day High Roller, the latter of which PokerNews will be on hand today for live coverage in the addition to the EPT Prague Main Event.
With the final EPT Main Event winner to claim the champion's trophy in less than a week, PokerNews recapped the 13-year history of the tour. Part One of the retrospective focused on the early years in Seasons 1 through 5, Part Two focused on the Berlin robbery, the effects of Black Friday and the "mega-schedule" and Part Three will focus on the later years in Seasons 9 through 13 when the number of venues was reduced with each offering more events, along with some general stats about the venues and EPT winners.