EPT Kyiv: From Dallas, Texas… just

August 19, 2009

The distance between the Premier Palace hotel and the Palace of Sports is no more than half a mile, at least it looks it when you use a crayon to draw a straight line on the free tourist map. But the task of finding the most efficient route from one door to the other so far remains near impossible.

Street names are irrelevant to all but the Cyrillic literate, traffic crossings while great when you find them, with a clock counting down how many seconds you have left to cross the street before the revving bus driver floors it, are few and far between, and the midday heat means it’s better to keep moving, lest the sun beat down on you even harder, boiling the blood in your veins as you consult the map again in vain.

Perhaps it was with this in mind that Eric Turner walked with me to the Sports Palace yesterday to take a look around before his turn to play came today. “I saw you had a map and thought ‘I’ll follow him'” he’d said, and fallen in alongside.

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Eric Turner

I was sure I could take a minute off an earlier journey time, a trip that had taken us underground, over ground and through what seemed like someone’s backyard, before crossing a deadly three lane highway to the safety of the Sports Palace car park.

Here with his father, Turner, a pro player for four years from Dallas, Texas, had already suffered a nightmare journey to the Ukraine that included a 24-hour layover in Chicago before the final trans-Atlantic stretch and short hop to Kyiv. Now, to complete that journey from PokerStars satellite to Kyiv Sports Palace, he was walking there the long way and graciously saying nothing as he watched someone who had promised him safe passage struggle with a map.

But while Turner’s journey here may have been tough his qualification on PokerStars was a good one, winning his seat with nothing more than a few Frequent Player Points. Turner has World Series experience in the bank but this is just his second EPT following Prague two seasons ago. My guess is the journey has something to do with it. “I play six-max cash games mainly, hold’em. But I like jumping in on those EPT satellites” he said grinning.

His reward today for getting this far is a seat at table three opposite current World Series runner-up Ivan Demidov. We’ll keep tabs on him as the day progresses.

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PENALTY OF THE LEVEL

Costa Michalakis just received a one round penalty for exposing his hand out of turn. Michalakis exposed his pocket kings thinking his two opponents had folded. Instead he had to play the rest of the hand with them exposed. His opponents called for the flop… K♦10♣9♥. That got a laugh. Any competition in the hand capitulated then. “Time for a smoke” said Michalakis.

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CHIP LEADER OF THE LEVEL

Alexander Grischuk, a chess grand master, from Russia with 63,000.

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POKERSTARS BLOG FEATURE SEAT UPDATE OF THE LEVEL

Today’s first occupant of the feature seat (table two, seat seven) is Michele Limongi from Italy.

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Michelle Limongi

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HAND OF THE LEVEL

Leo Fernandez and Vateris Koka got to a flop, raised, re-raised and called, costing 750 each. The flop was 2♣9♥2♦ and Koka checked and Fernandez bet 1,000. Call. The turn was 3♥, check, bet 2,100, call. The river was the 6♠, check, bet 5,000, call. Fernandez tapped the table, said: “Good call,” and showed A♣K♦. Koka tabled 10♥10♠ which was good.

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QUOTE OF THE LEVEL

Following the hand above, Fernandez said: “I thought you had jacks.” Another player at the table said: “I thought you had jacks too.” Then another one: “I put you on jacks.” And maybe a fourth: “I thought you had jacks.” At this point another player meekly admitted: “I thought you had ace queen.”

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