Thomas Stacha is an observant guy. He may wear thick glasses, but he has an even thicker lens on the end of his camera(s) to compensate and has a keen eye for what’s going on in a poker tournament. However, it appeared he had missed one of the star attractions still involved in this event.
“Kevin is still in?” he said.
I had handed Stacha a request for a picture of Kevin MacPhee, the WPT Berlin and WSOP-Europe champion, who has been lurking in this tournament from the outset. MacPhee was never the absolute brashest of folk, but as his results have got even better through the years, he has become even more unassuming. He buries himself behind a pair of mirrored shades and a blue hoodie and just gets on with things.
MacPhee has around 470,000 in chips, which going into Level 20, where blinds are 6,000-12,000, is right around the 40 BB mark. There are plenty of folk with more, and plenty of folk with far less. But there aren’t many players in the field with more experience of situations like this than MacPhee.
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Andrew Chen is another North American with heaps of experience still floating along in this tournament. Chen has slightly more chips than MacPhee, but not by a whole bunch. He has made an EPT final table in this room, however, and isn’t going to be too concerned about missing out on the Super High Roller which is nearing the end of its opening day.
On the subject of hiding in plain sight, there was another former EPT champion still involved today in the Eureka. Jean Montury, who won in Malta in March, had about 280,000 in chips when I last noticed him, concealed beneath a green hoodie and staring at the screen of his phone.
Stacha went over to photograph Montury, but ended up watching him bust. We don’t know when the money went in, but it could have been at any point after a flop of 6♦9♠J♥ a turn of Q♥ or a river of Q♠. Montury had kings, you see, and Mustafa Biz had Q♣9♣ and the car crash happened.
As far as I can see, there are two other World Series bracelet winners still involved in this one.
Simeon Naydenov was the first Bulgarian to win a WSOP tournament and he’s still plugging away in this event. Meanwhile Dietrich Fast, who picked up his jewellery in an early bracelet event in Berlin this year, has about 235,000 but is still in.
– There are 87 players left
– It’s a 75-minute dinner break, after which players will return to play two more levels
The Eureka coverage is all handily organized on the Eureka Prague page.