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EPT9 Prague: Iosef Beskrovnyy keeps lead into Day 3

As we suggested yesterday, being the day one chip leader is not usually a guarantee of greater success. It's a ceremonial role, like that of a Lord Mayor in an English provincial city. Nothing more than a temporary position to be enjoyed for all its trappings. Then the keys to the city are passed on to someone else.

But perhaps Russians do things a little differently? At least Iosef Beskrovnyy believes so. Beskrovnyy arrived today as the chip leader, let others flirt with the lead during the day, and then took back his advantage at the close. He bags up 625,200 chips tonight after day two of EPT Prague, a day typically fraught with eliminations and multiple changes at the top.

Beskrovnyy ensures continuity, for another night at least, but there are a variety of challengers for his top spot.

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Chip leader Iosif Beskrovnyy

Todd Terry was one of them. He used route one to get his stack into fighting shape, running aces into kings earlier today to give him the temporary lead. But he hadn't counted on Beskrovnyy, and Terry bags up 392,200.

PokerStars qualifier Martin Hanowski closed on 484,000 and Cesar Garcia Dominguez returns tomorrow to a stack of 410,900. French pro Fabrice Soulier will be back with 396,200.

The chip count pages though are riddled with capable challengers.

Team Pros Christian de Leon, Pier Paolo Fabretii, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Johnny Lodden have not lost sight of the lead, neither has former Prague winner Roberto Romanello. Further back are the likes of Ari Engel, Jeff Sarwer and Chris Brammer.

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Pier Paolo Fabretti

On a day in which about 300 players departed, the list of eliminations was always going to be long. Among the notables bidding adieu to Prague were Mohsin Charania, Olivier Busquet, Dominik Nitsche, Jason Mercier, Andrew Chen, Mike McDonald, Toby Lewis, Ana Marquez, Ville Wahlbeck, Anton Wigg and last year's winner Martin Finger. There were more, too many to count. Read the names of those who will return on our live coverage page.

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Jason Mercier

When they do return they will have another 40-plus players to outlast before they see any reward for all the effort. Some 128 will be paid tomorrow, leaving the rest to vent on Twitter.

Looking back on the day we witnessed Kevin Stammen start his odds-against campaign to reach day two, and remarked on how enjoyable it is to see a top player wipe the floor with someone. Meanwhile Rodrigo Caprioli was being recognised with a lifetime achievement award and we speculated on whether or not this could be Johnny Lodden's one time.

After the mid-day update we, along with an MTV camera crew, looked towards the exploits of Pier Paolo Fabretti, ahead of the close of play where players were urged to follow these simple instructions before looking up the fortunes of the Emerald Isle.

They'll be more to come tomorrow when the bubble will burst and play inches towards the crucial latter stages.

Follow hand-by-hand coverage, plus latest chip counts, in the panel at the top of the main EPT Prague page.

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