Four of the nine allotted levels have now been completed and players are on a 15 minute break. You'll find level five updates in a new post shortly.
6.25pm: Two times a lady
At the end of Day 1A in last season's event here it was a woman, Russia's Anna Davydova who led the way. There are just two woman in today's field and neither currently looks like they are going to follow in her footsteps.
Sonja Kovac from Croatia is down to 7,200, although she is doing a bit better than Dima Doralina as the Romanian is down to 5,200.
Given the blinds to stack ratio it's no surprise that the exits are currently a trickle rather than a torrent. Still, there's no easy way to say this but if you'd clicked onto the blog to read upates on: Dzmitry Shorakh, Zvonimir Zoric, Lukasz Roczniak, Atanas Georgiev or Fahredin Mustafov they are all out.
5.55pm: Kilmartin catches bluff then gets flushed
Being the only Irishman in the field David Kilmartin is easy to spot, if not by sight, then by accent. He'll be hoping that an Irishman makes the money for the second year running here (Mick Graydon finished 28th in 2011) and he just played two sizable pots back to back.
In the first I only caught the river action but the board was 7♠6♣J♣9♣Q♣ and Kilmartin was facing a bet of 1,800 (half pot) from Ted Stolzenbach, after a brief think Kilmartin made the call. Stolzenbach showed 2♥2♠, which was behind to Kilmartin's Q♠Q♦. "I only had a bluffcatcher," said Kilmartin as he took the pot.
The next hand Kilmartin raised to 425 from early position, it folded to Anton Sinel who raised to 1,125 from a stack of 4,625. Back on Kilmartin he set Sinel in and he made the call.
The flop of 8♠3♠5♣ gave the Romanian more outs, he missed them all on the 8♦ turn but hit his flush on the 5♠ river to double up and knock Kilmartin down to 11,500.
5.40pm: Lofty perch
Current chip leader (see below) is Iulian-Georgian Ruxandescu and here's how he got to that lofty perch.
There was a complete board of A♠6♠Q♦4♥4♣ on the felt and around 16,000 in the pot. The action was on Márk Karagity and he fired out a bet of 10,500. There was no instant decision from Ruxandescu, he slowly counted out the amount to call from his stack and plonked it over the betting line.
With betting complete, it was on Karagity to show first, he was reluctant to do so but eventually showed Q♠T♠ for second pair and a missed flush draw, Ruxandescu then revealed A♥K♣ to win the pot and boost himself to 57,000, whilst Karagity slips to 19,000.
5.25pm: Chip leaders
At the start of the fourth level these fellas are the current chip leaders and perhaps a'hem table captains:
Iulian-Georgian Ruxandescu 57,000
Anton Kraus 43,000
Dennis Schaefer 37,000
Vage Pogosyan 37,000
Petar Zografov 35,000
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 100-200
5.15pm: Refreshingly honest
It's not often you hear a poker player give an honest assessment of his performance and say it was his fault he's out but Casey Kastle just did exactly that.
He'd wandered over to the media area to hand over a bar of chocolate to one of the tournament directors. "Yeah I'm out," he said. "I got exactly what I deserved, I played awfully. But I love being by the sea so I'm off to the beach."
We'd like to think he's off to build sand-kastle's.
5.05pm: Exits and entries
Registration slammed shut at the start of this level and I can confirm that 120 is the total number of runners today.
Of those 120, eleven have been knocked out thus far, there's no easy way to say this but: Veselin Petrov, Florian Schottler, Lotem Alfassi, Mario Georgiev, Mario Georgiev, Martin Dobrev, Aleksandr Berenbein, Yavor Tutev, Sergey Serafimov, Dorin Rauta and Casey Kastle are all free to play beach volleyball.
4.55pm: All-in and call
Like moths to a flame I heard those words and ambled over to table 11 in time to see Sergey Mikhaylov double through Zvonimir Zoric. It was all-in pre-flop with Mikhaylov holding pocket kings whilst Zoric had pocket jacks. The board ran 2♦T♥5♠9♠6♦ and Mikhaylov is up to 19,000 whilst Zoric slips to 4,000.
4.35pm: Florian gone
Before play resumed Florian Schottler was presented with a trophy for winning the High Roller event, but it proved a bad omen as he's now out. He told me: "On my last hand i ran pocket tens into pocket jacks for 5,000."
4.25pm: Back from the break
If the players didn't endure enough bad beat stories during the break they've come back to another one as Celine Dion is currently blasting out the speakers in the casino.
Now late registration is over it shouldn't be too long before I can confirm the number of runners for Day 1A.
4.08pm: Break time
Players are now on their first 15 minute break of the day, they include High Roller winner Florian Schottler who has battled back to around 4,500 from a low of 2,500. During the first two levels five players were eliminated.
4pm: Warowiec loses some
I joined the action to see a full board of 3♥5♦7♦T♦7♥ on the felt. There was roughly 2,600 in the pot and a bet of 1,500 in front of a player. The action was on Mateusz Warowiec, he deliberated for perhaps a minute before throwing in the call, but in a manner that suggested it was a crying, rather than confident call. His opponent rolled over 9♦6♦ for a turned flush and Warowiec mucked his hand. -- NW
3.45pm: Zografov gets some back
He's not shy about getting his chips across the line is Petar Zografov. He raised to 250 from under-the-gun+1 and got three callers. So it was four-way to a flop of 2♣5♠Q♥. The big blind checked to Zografov who bet 550, two seats along an unknown player raised to 1,225, the two other players folded and it was back on Zografov.
He deliberated for a short time before raising to 2,250 total, his opponent then re-raised making it 4,725 in total. Back on Zografov he looked puzzled and starred intently at his opponent's bet. He then looked to the dealer and they had a conversation, perhaps about how much extra it was, or maybe to confirm if it was a legal raise or not, my Bulgarian is a bit rusty so I don't know for sure!
Zografov then counted out the call and also how much extra he had left (around 4,000) before moving all-in, his opponent swiftly folded his hand and Zografov is now up to around 13,000.
3.30pm: Win some, lose some
As mentioned earlier (see post at 2.20pm) Florian Schottler won the High Roller event here yesterday, beating a field of 23 players.
He's not had as much joy today though as he's down to just 2,500 already after losing a big pot to an opponent who held two pair.
Just the one exit so far.
3.15pm: Home comforts?
I was reliably informed by Bulgarian media during season one of the Eureka Poker Tour that Petar Zografov is one of Bulgaria's best players.
He was a regular fixture on the tour during season one and seemed to go deep in every event, but only converted his undoubted talent to one cash, a 15th place finish in Prague where he earned €2,890.
He's playing today but has lost almost half his starting stack already and is down to 8,500. Still 85 big blinds of course and the chipped up players at his table are on his right so plenty of time for him to get going.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50-100
3pm: Man overboard
News reaches me of the first exit, a player with a set of tens on a T 9 8 X X board was eliminated by Mateusz Warowiec who held Q J for the nut straight. Apparently Warowiec was a late entrant and this was his first hand!
The Pole has form on PokerStars tours as back in March 2011 he finished second at UKIPT Manchester, an event that featured an epic six hour heads up battle. The Pole obviously has the ability to change gears!
I hope to have a full player list shortly and be able to put names to the player ID number that is infront of each player.
2.40pm: Fashionably late
Told you the numbers of entrants would go up! Tournament director Thomas Lamatsch just informed be that there are now 122 entrants today, that's 36 more than 45 minutes ago.
Not sure if any of them got a lift in this car though!
2.20pm: High rolling
The buy-in for the main events of the Eureka Poker tour has been increased to €1000 for season two from the €700 it cost in season one. But, an even bigger event has already been played and completed before the start of the main event.
The High Roller, which carried a hefty entry fee of €1850 + €150, attracted 23 runners and was a two day tournament that finished yesterday. It paid four spots, Florian Schottler from Germany took the title and the first prize of €16,523, not bad for what is apparently his first live cash.
At the other end of the spectrum (and payouts) was Slovenian/American Casey Kastle who cashed in fourth for €4,150 mere pocket change compared to his lifetime winnings of $1,658,462.
1st - Florian Schottler, Germany, €16,523
2nd - Ole Schemion, Germany, €12,350
3rd - Roman Kagan, Israel, €8,250
4th - Casey Kastle, Slovenia, €4,150
2.05pm: Shuffle up and deal
After a run through of rules, regulations and the plan for the day action is underway here in Bulgaria.
The tournament clock shows me that 86 players are currently registered although that number will rise as late registration is open for two hours. The plan today is to play nine levels, with a dinner break scheduled after level six, meaning play will end around 1a.m local time.
1.50pm: Fun in the sun
Hello and welcome to Eureka2 Bulgaria, from the sunny Golden Sands Resort, near the town of Varna, Bulgaria. Coverage is coming to you from the Grand Hotel & Casino International which is located across the road from the beach.
So step just a few paces outside the casino into the sunlight and you can buy some of Bulgaria's finest tat, including beach balls, fake watches and temporary tattoos. Although one suspects tat - in the form of headphones, bling and hoodies - will be very much on show in the cardroom too.
Tournament staff have informed me they're expecting a field of around 300, which will be split over two starting days, combine for Day 2 on Saturday and play to a winner on Sunday. They'll all be hoping to emulate Idan Greenberg who beat a field of 308 to win this event and €55,145 last year.
However, if they bust out early the tournament staff have plenty of fun activities including beach volleyball and football planned, as well as side events, to keep them busy.
We're just minutes away from starting.
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Bulgaria:Nick Wright. Photos by Thomas Stacha.