A fog has descended over Casino Hohensyburg this morning. Blanking the view over the Ruhr district out on the casino terrace, it has settled amid the trees making the surrounding forest seem like a sinister place where demons might appear from at night or where card players, too distraught to handle the pain of elimination, head towards, never to be seen again.
Let’s not get too cute about things, but there’s none of that fog in the tournament room today, just the crystal clear facts of an EPT day two. That means things like this…
From the original 664 players 252 remain. Of those, 60 are in some way powered by PokerStars ripped fuel, be they German ShootingStars or from the ranks of qualifiers who found their way here for a bargain satellite price. Then of course there are the three remaining Team PokerStars Pros William Thorson, Luca Pagano and Alex Kravchenko.
Of all the paths this tournament might weave a few routes dangle mouth watering outcomes for the history book geeks. Canadian Mike McDonald could potentially be a first double EPT winner. Last year’s champ finished with a flourish last night, placing himself among the leaders with 67,900. Victory here would make it back to back Dortmund titles for the 19-year-old and would probably sway him towards German citizenship. Interestingly the Dortmund winner from season three, Andreas Hoivold, is still in contention.
William Thorson, who finished in typical fashion on day 1a, brings 84,500 to the table today and could be on for a third EPT final if his Thor-like domination continues for a second day. Luca Pagano is on course for a record tenth EPT cash.
German hopes for a home grown winner stand as strong as Ruhr steel, with Marco Noll the combined chip leader on 104,700, closely followed by countrymen Peter Bueermann (80,500), Robert Zipf (72,300) and Jan Collado-Fernandez (71,100) among a host of others.
Yes there’s something for everyone at Casino Hohensyburg. The finishing touches to the TV stage are being made ahead of the EPT Live broadcast that begins tomorrow, while the rest of the room is taken up by players unbagging chips, strapping themselves in and bracing themselves for another day at the office.
We’re about to start. Tell me a better way to spend a Thursday.