We began predicting chaos and Biblical fury; in the end it was just the regular whirlwind that howls through day two fields on the European Poker Tour.
EPT Kyiv was seven levels old when 203 players returned to the Palace of Sports at noon on the second day. “We will play five or six levels today,” intoned Thomas Kremser in his introductory speech to the room. By the second of those, the decision was made. “We will play five levels,” he declared emphatically. By that point, about 50 players had already been eliminated. By the end of the day, only 70 remained.
At the top of the leaderboard are these three: Vitaly Tolokonnikov and Max Lykov, from Russia, and Jonas Kronwitter, from Germany. Kronwitter took two huge strides to the summit: first crippling Allan Baekke in an aces versus queens tangle, next busting Shaun Deeb in a hand where he had the queens, crushing Deeb’s pocket threes.
Tolokonnikov and Lykov, on the other hand, completed their rise to prominence in the most efficient fashion of all: completely under the radar, simply emerging with towers of yellow chips.
At the very end, Tolokonnikov was tormenting the table featuring Alex Fitzgerald and Andrew Malott. “He’s running like Usain Bolt,” observed the latter, but Lazarus is a more apt comparison. Tolokonnikov started day two with 12,000 and change. He had 371,000 by the end.
Deeb’s departure was one of many for poker’s star names. Katja Thater perished inside two levels, when her ace-ten was not good enough to beat Jason Kudron’s ten-deuce. Alexander Kravchenko ground and ground, as is his style, but eventually bust late in the day.
Ivan Demidov cursed his own play with a K♥J♥ that flopped top pair, but still wasn’t good enough to beat aces.
Dragan Galic and Jeffrey Sarwer both held the chip lead for long periods today, but Galic was gone and Sarwer finished barely above the felt. Andrew Feldman and Nicolas Levi both also flew high but busted before the bagging.
Although Team PokerStars Pro perished, there are qualifiers still flying the flag. The German former backgammon World Champion Michael Meyburg bagged up 270,000 and the aforementioned Malott has close to 190,000.
Also still in the mix is the player from Kazakhstan, Aleksandr Ivanchenko, who remains in with a chance of completing perhaps the most extraordinary poker story of them all. He won a freeroll for 9,000 players and is here for free, still prospering.
Tomorrow we will play down to our final four tables; 32 for the big money. By that point we will have burst the bubble — 40 get paid — and have watched another breathless day on the EPT.
Look back on today’s action in these terrific shiny hyperlinks:
Introduction to day two
Alexsander Ivanchenko freerolls from Kazakhstan
Andrew Malott has a lot…
The enigma of Alex Kravchenko
I’ll get you Jeff Sarwer…
Action Shaun Deeb
Alexander Fitzgerald from the rail
Or take it level-by-level style:
As ever, televisual poker entertainment is at PokerStars.tv and all the static photography comes with a big (c) Neil Stoddart attached.
Join us again tomorrow.
GФФD ИIGHT FЯФM ЦКЯДIЙЗ