Play is under way at Day 1B of the Baden European Poker Tour. Another 167 players have sat down to fight their way through – they hope – to Day 2, where 38 runners from yesterday are ready and waiting.
We have a host of top names, and a whole bunch of PokerStars qualifiers mixing it up with them.
Spare a thought for Voodoo – Johan Kretz from Sweden – who has found himself on an early table of death. He sat down at the start and was soon joined by no less than Holland’s Noah “Exclusive” Boeken, Deauville EPT winner Mats Iremark and Edgar Skjervold from Norway, a regular on EPT final tables.
There was still one empty seat as well, but surely it would not be another tough player for Johan, a political journalist? Oh dear, who should turn up a few minutes late to sit down?
That’s right, none other than Holland’s Marcel Luske, one of the biggest names in poker! Poor Voodoo must be cursing his luck, but he has played EPTs in Copenhagen and Barcelona before, as well as cashing in the WSOP, so he is no mug himself.
He is taking a year off from his local newspaper job to try his luck at the game. He said: “I wanted a year off. I love poker and thought I was good enough, but I’m not sure I can give up my job for good.”
Another PokerStars qualifier has found himself with tough neighbours. Boris Shostak will hope he will not be Boris ShortStack, but he faces two of Britain’s finest – Ben Grundy and Julian Thew.
Boris, who plays as Allabob, lives in Illinois but originally hails from the Ukraine. He’s played in Vegas but this is his first EPT after becoming a cash qualifier.
He’s a mettalurgist, which I am told is something to do with metal. He’ll need a lot of mettle to last the course here.
A quick look at room finds some faces you may recognise: