His blonde hair and Scandinavian 'look' means that Daniel Karlson is easy to spot at the tables of the Grand International Casino here in Bulgaria. But today there was more than one reason to keep an eye on him as the Swede played a relentless game to bag up 521,500 and the overnight chip lead.
That Karlson is even in this tournament is down to Slavn Popov who, amazingly is still in the tournament also. I'll let the 24-year-old, who hails from Stockholm explain: 'I used to coach Slaven and he recently won the SCOOP (medium) main event for $560,000. As a thank you he bought me in to this event and paid for my flight and hotel.'
And Popov who goes by the username suarez_BG on PokerStars isn't doing too bad either, he bagged up 286,000 and sits seventh overnight.
Karlson has a confidence and swagger at the table and plays with a smile on his face, it's no surprise to discover he plays high stakes online: 'I've won and lost pots bigger than the first prize in this tournament (€61,100),' he says matter of factly. 'I've played as high as 250/500 but would say I've played regularly at 50/100.'
But that doesn't mean he's not taking this tournament seriously: 'I think this is the best tournament I've ever played decision making wise," he tells me. 'And although I'm here to have fun I'm totally focused on winning tomorrow.'
But he's not going to have it all his own way, there are 12 other players, including Day 1A chip leader Ted Stolzenbach and four Bulgarians who will also be totally focused on winning. One of those - Petar Zografov - traded the chip lead with Karlson for much of the day and will come back third in chips having finished on 350,000.
Here's how play stands overnight:
Nagy Barnabas, Hungary, PokerStars qualifier, 300,000
Slaven Popov, Bulgaria, 286,000
Andrzej Kozikowski, Poland, PokerStars qualifier, 272,000
Dennis Schaefer, Germany, PokerStars player, 317,500
Petar Zografov, Bulgaria, PokerStars qualifier, 350,000
Daniel Karlson, Sweden, 521,500
Michael Alnahas, Bulgaria, PokerStars qualifier, 152,500
Saveikis Algirdas, Lithuania, 202,500
Andrejus Jakovlevas, Latvia, 263,500
Ted Stolzenbach, Netherlands, PokerStars qualifier, 127,000
Deyan Stanev, Bulgaria, 300,500
Michal Misterek, Poland, PokerStars qualifier, 55,000
Tobias Schwecht, Germany, PokerStars player, 419,000
The day started with 86 players, 27 of whom would get paid. It took over six levels of play to reach the bubble and a further two hours to burst it. When it did finally pop two players exited on the same hand meaning that Kiril Kochov and Sergey Mikhaylov shared 27th place prize money. You can see a full list of those who busted in the money here.
You can catch up with everything that happened over ten levels today by clicking on the links below, play will restart at 2pm local time.
All photos are copyright of Thomas Stacha, he listens to heavy metal music so don't mess.