2.15am: From Russia with shove - Anna Davydova leads Day 1A field
A total of 131 players took to the felt for Day 1A of Eureka Poker Tour and on a day when no man seemed able to hold onto the chip lead it was a woman who showed them how it's done.
Bagging up the most chips overnight is Anna Davydova from Russia who has 124,500. She had an up and down day but mostly up. She more than doubled her stack to 32,000 by the end of level four, but just one level later she was down to 12,800. She nursed those chips back to above average and then got the crucial boost she needed when she found pocket kings at the same time as opponent's had ace-king and pocket jacks to triple up.
The only other player to breach the six-figure mark was Pitic Radu who finished on 115,200. Others who'll be happy with their days work are Tomasz Skrzyniarz (94,600), Marcel Balint (87,100) and Paul-Adrian Covaciu (83,200) they round out the top five.
Some of the notables who've all got big match game and will be back for day two are Dan Murariu (16,300), Mick Graydon (16,500) and Jacek Ladny (58,000). The latter held the chip lead during the middle portion of the day.
To catch up on all the action from today click on the link below and in the style of a bad Dolly Parton cover in this post you'll find the coverage of levels five through nine.
We'll be back again tomorrow to do it all again when Day 1B starts at 2pm here at the Grand Casino International in Varna. Amongst those playing will be Eureka Slovenia champion Antonio Dieguez Rodriguez. For a re-cap of his victory in Slovenia click here.
Full chip counts of the 50 players who made it through to Day 2 will be available before Day 1B play starts. Until tomorrow it's
good night лека нощ from Bulgaria. -- NW
1.05am: Play is done for the day
Players are bagging and tagging their chips, approximately 50 players made it through to day two. A wrap of the day's play will follow in this post shortly. -- NW
12.45am: Last six hands, new chip leader
With 15 minutes left to play, tournament director Thomas Lamatsch paused the clock and asked one of the players (Anna Davydova) to pick a card to determine how many hands would be played, she pulled a six. That's good news for the Russian who is currently chip leader with 121,000 and probably doesn't want the day to end. I missed the hand but my spies tell me she got kings in against jacks and ace-king to propel her over the six figure mark. -- NW
12.35am: Late night exits
Those who bust just short of making Day 2 include: Sergei Serafimov, Niste Mihai Gabriel, Anastas Ivanov and Jurgis Ragauskas. -- NW
12.25am: Chip counts page
slacking updating the chip counts page for the last 10 minutes. -- NW
12.20am: New chip leader
Tomasz Skrzyniarz has taken the chip lead after his pocket queens held against the A♣K♣ of Piotr Makarejczuk and the pocket eights of Zdravko Petrov, the Pole is up to around 95,000 now. -- NW
12.10am: Chip leaders
As the last level of play starts here are the chip leaders: Evegeni Nikolov Sterev (81,000), Tomasz Skrzyniarz (77,575), Balint Ovidiu (77,500) and Jacek Ladny (66,500). -- NW
12.00am: Back from the break
The remaining 68 players are back in their seats for one more level of Day 1A play. -- NW
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 400-800, ante 100
11.45pm: End of the level
There's now a 15 minute break whilst tournament staff race off the 25 denomination chips. -- NW
11.38pm: Chip leaders clash, avoid carange
Two of the chip leaders Pitic Radu (63,000) and Evegeni Nikolov Sterev (85,000) just tangled in a pot but perhaps their stacks and the board texture stopped it from spiraling.
They both put in 3,000 each pre-flop to see the first three community cards fall 4♦4♠8♥, Radu checked to Sterev who bet 3.500, call from Radu. But that was the end of the betting as they both shut down on the K♥T♦ turn and river with Radu showing pocket sixes to best Sterev's A♣J♦. Despite that setback Sterev with around 81,500 leads the way. -- NW
11.28pm: Svub loses stub
Martin Svub, 12th place finisher at Eureka Prague, is out. Down to just 11 big blinds he moved all-in with A♣6♥ from early position, next to act Dejan Markovic isolated all-in for 23,000. It folded to Peter Higgins in the big blind and he folded flashing a small pair to the table. On their backs:
The board of T♦J♣5♥9♠3♥ missed both players. -- NW
11.15pm: Rees mops up pieces
The winner of the first ever Eureka Poker Tour event was a Brit, there aren't many in the field today but one of them - Jonathan Rees - just took down a three-way pot.
From under-the-gun Aurelijus Genevicius opened to 1,600 and was flat called in two spots, firstly by Marius Baciu (utg+1) and then Rees (button). All three player checked the 5♦J♣A♠ flop before it checked again to Rees on the T♦ turn, the Brit decided to take this sign of weakness as a green light and fired out a bet of 4,000. Both Genevicius (quickly) and Baciu (after a dwell) mucked their hands. -- NW
11.05pm: Ladny still leads
Poland's Jacek Ladny still leads the way here in Varna, he's holding steady on 68,000. -- NW
10.55pm: Tournament announcement
The tournament director just announced that the tournament will stop today after nine levels of play. That means there's about an hour and forty minutes play left plus a 15 minute chip colour up/race break. -- NW
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 300-600, ante 75
10.35pm: Exits speeding up
As expected the number of exits has increased this level as the price of poker goes up. Recent fallers include: Shai Zurr, Pavel Konukov and Edi Nedyalkov. According to the tournament clock 83 players remain. -- NW
10.25pm: Marius doubles
Cristian Marius just doubled up his short stack of around 3,000 to over 7,000. He moved all-in with pocket fours and was up against Nikolai Markov's A♥J♦ the board was bereft of bullets or knaves though and Marius breathed a sigh of relief as he collected the pot. -- NW
10.20pm: The grey man
Pictured below is Dan Murariu who is struggling on 6,700. The diminutive Romanian has taken some tracking down today. He was on the original player list but with no table draw it was hard to track him down. Then once I received the table draw he was not in the seat that he was assigned (despite that table not breaking).
However with some help from a PokerStars colleague I tracked him down. The Romanian has over $450,000 in lifetime winnings including a $184,000 win just over a year ago in this very casino. -- NW
10pm: More chip counts
Keep an eye on the chip counts page as it will be updated throughout play. Among those still in and going well is Mick Graydon (31,000). -- NW
9.50pm: Chip counts
During the dinner break tournament staff did a comprehensive chip count of the remaining players, here are the current top five:
Jacek Ladny: 69,000
Pitic Radu: 63,000
Evegeni Nikolov Sterev: 63,000
Tomasz Skrzyniarz: 54,000
Alexandru Cezarescu 50,000
The chip leader is from Poland and has a number of cashes to his name with his biggest score being a 26th place finish at EPT Dortmund in 2009. -- NW
9.45pm: Back from the dinner break
The players have been called back to their seats and level six is underway, 90 players remain. -- NW
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 200-400 ante 50
8.44pm: Dinner break
Players are now on a one hour dinner break. -- NW
8.30pm: Chip leader round two
It seems there's a new sheriff in town, Jacek Ladny has around 69,000, my list of exits tells me Peter Zografov has recently exited from that table, I'd imagine the two events are connected as Zografov had around 18,000 and a similar boost has been given to Ladny's stack. -- NW
8.15pm: Chip leader
Current chip leader appears to be Miroslav Rizov from Bulgaria he has about 52,000 and climbed above the 50,000 mark in the following hand. From under-the-gun Jacek Ladny made it 750 to play and it folded to Rizov on the button and he made it 1,750 to play and after a bit of tank time Ladny made the call.
The flop was Q♥4♣9♠ and both players checked to see a free turn card which was the 7♣. Again both players checked. The river 5♥ completed the board and Ladny checked for a third time, Rizov was not so passive, firing out a single 5k chip, which forced Ladny to fold. -- NW
A total of 34 players have exited the tournament in the opening five levels, amongst those free to play in the side event that is just starting are: Amar Begovic, Jaroslav Urban and Alain Medesan. -- NW
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 150-300, ante 25
7.40pm: Chip counts
Here's a few chip counts of the notables and noteworthy: Neil Rawnsley (20,250), Yamin Kfir (24,200), Bernhadt Balazas (34,200), Anna Davydova (12,800), Tomasz Skrzyniarz (43,000), Peter Zografov (19,400) and Miroslav Rizov (30,000).
The chip leader - Tomasz Skrzyniarz - is on the same table as Anna Davydova and her dip in chips part explains Skrzyniarz's booming chip stack. -- NW
7.25pm: Graydon grinding it out
Earlier I wandered by Mick Graydon and he said just two words to me: "Starting stack," indicating he hadn't budged much from the 15,000 he started with. He has now though and has gone in the right direction, climbing to 22,000. -- NW
7.10pm: Staric struck off
Miha Staric who finished 16th at Eureka Slovenia, is out, Miroslav Rizov his conqueror with the latter up to 34,500. There was betting on every street of a T♥T♦Q♣5♦J♦ board with Staric holding K♣J♣ and Rizov A Q . -- NW
6.55pm: Recent exits
Amongst the recent exits are Sorin Achitei, Imgrund Arnold, Ricardas Vymeris and Miha Staric, information on that Staric hand coming right up. -- NW
6.45pm: Level five has started
Cards are back in the air here 113 of the 131 entrants remain. Amongst the chip leaders is Anna Davydova from Russia. -- NW
PokerStars Blog reporting team at Eureka Poker Tour Bulgaria: Nick Wright. Photos courtesy of Tomas Stacha.