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EPT London: Play begins

Sat in the cardroom between the TV people at one end making finishing touches to the main stage and bar staff at the other polishing glasses for first drinks of commiseration, is Marcel Baran. The young PokerStars Qualifier from Germany starts the day on 102,800 and is no stranger to the trials and tribulations of making it to the business end of an EPT.

“This is my fifth EPT so I have a bit of experience of live poker – not as much as online of course.”

What kind of tournament has Marcel had so far?

“Early on I had a standard hand of aces against kings. A king came and I was short stacked from then. Going into day 2 I had about two thirds of the average. I had one hand that was pretty big with pocket tens -a raise, re-raise, he moved in and I called. That brought me back up to 200k. Then I lost a few.”

Then came the hand late on day 2 against fellow PokerStars qualifier Katja Svendsen. Not a huge pot but enough to re-ignite Marcel’s tournament hopes. Playing with her trademark aggressive style Katja had set the pace, but with the board showing 7-J-9-3-K Marcel bet out 15k into a 40k pot.

“She took her time and thought for a while but eventually called. I had K-9. I think she had something like K-Q.

"Today I have two guys on my left with 200k stacks. If I raise I can get into problems - I can beat them but I’d rather have smaller stacks on my left. I’ll see how it goes.”

The boxes have been moved, the cables shifted - the stage is set for day 3.

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