EPT Kyiv: The PokerStars Blog Feature Seat

August 18, 2009

After the drumming and the dancing and the spinning and the smiling of the shock and awe opening, it’s back to the molten coal face of an EPT day 1a with all the trimmings of one hour levels and a new 30,000 starting stack designed to re-confirm the EPT as the best structured deep stacked poker tour in the world.

One player ready for another crack at EPT glory is Frenchman Arnaud Mattern, looking to be in peak condition as play begins. “I feel good” he says, “invigorating” he adds to describe the effects of the ‘Ars Nova’ drumming. Meanwhile a triumphant glint flickers in his eye, the kind that in the past has led to his wreaking havoc at the tables. He’s right about the drumming though, and the traditional Ukrainian dancing and smiling has left a peculiar wholesome feeling hanging over the room; healthiness and optimism by proxy you might call it, which funnily enough can also wreak havoc at the tables.

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Mattern is already getting involved. With 30,000 chips and 50-100 blinds, there’s no rush, but then again why wait. EPT Kyiv represents Mattern’s first real opportunity to put the horrors of a disappointing World Series behind him, returning to take the fight to a European poker scene which he has conquered so well before.

In a four-way pot Mattern looked to start things off before check-folding on a K♠8♠7♥ flop. The raiser is Italian PokerStars qualifier Fabio Di Giampietro while another PokerStars qualifier Greg Dyer, who finished third in Barcelona in season four, calls him on the A♣ turn and 5♥ river. Giampietro turns over J♣A♦ before Dyer folds.

A few feet away is table two seat seven. What’s the significance of that you ask? Well that’s today’s PokerStars Blog Feature Seat, a new innovation to season six and the seat on which today we’ll be keeping a peeled eye. First honour goes to Stanislav Shihkarev, a PokerStars qualifier from Russia. To make it tricky for us Shihkarev speaks no English, but he’s still our man and wastes no time taking his first pot from the button, a harmless looking raise on a 7♠J♦4♦6♣ board before his opponent Wendy Monosky folds. First blood Shihkarev.

The seat is his for now.

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STATISTIC OF THE LEVEL

Field size on day 1a in Kyiv: 129

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IMPORTANT DISTINCTION OF THE LEVEL

The price of a meat sandwich is 15-00 Hryvnia ($2) and not 1,500 ($20).

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RETORT OF THE LEVEL

The tournament official Gerard Serra was called over to make a ruling, although it wasn’t immediately popular:

“This is not the first time I have played,” said the aggrieved individual.

“And it is not the first time for me either,” replied Serra with customary calmness

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