Breaking Down the Action:
  • Day 1a Sees Spanish Double Top the Leaderboard
  • Day 1b Sees Stars Rise and Fall
  • Strong Turnout Despite WPT World Championship

4 Minute Read

Ramon Colillas took a strong stack through to Day 2 of the EPT Prague Main Event.

The first two days of Main Event action are in the can in Prague as the European Poker Tour’s final stop of the season in the Czech Capital thrilled fans on the rail. With two opening day flights permitted, players such as Sam Greenwood and PokerStars Team Pro Ramon Colillas both starred at the felt.

In a week where Rodrigo Seiji won two trophies and Ben Heath did the same, it was a full Day 1 schedule in the Czech capital.

Day 1a Sees Spanish Double Top the Leaderboard

A busy day’s action on Day 1a of the 2022 EPT Prague Main Event saw 402 entries scramble down to just 124 survivors after a 10-hour day at the felt. When the day was done, it was a Spanish one-two at the top of the leaderboard, with Javier Gomez Zapatero (341,000) ahead of PokerStars Team Pro Ramon Colillas (312,000) by the barest of margins.

Both those players are the only two to top 300,000 chips, with Canadian pro Sam Greenwood a little further back on 293,000 chips. Greenwood will be some rival for anyone looking to take this tournament down and having missed out on the WPT World Championship by choosing to remain in the Czech capital, will be determined to go all the way and take home the top prize and famous EPT Main Event trophy, especially after winning over $2 million in the Triton Super High Roller series in Cyprus back in September.

Others were not so fortunate as to survive, one high-profile casualty was the Team PokerStars Pro Benjamin Spragg, who along with his fellow teamster Alejandro Lococo wasn’t able to make the cut. Others did get through to the next day, with Jerry Odeen (162,500), Ludovic Geilich (159,000) and Simon Higgins (158,000) all survived to take on Day 2.

2022 EPT Prague Main Event Day 1a Top 10 Chipcounts:

Place Player Country Chips
1st Javier Gomez Zapatero Spain 341,000
2nd Ramon Colillas Spain 312,000
3rd Sam Greenwood Canada 293,000
4th Nicola Grieco Italy 289,500
5th Julien Sitbon France 232,000
6th Justin Steinbrenner Germany 220,000
7th Jun Obara Japan 214,000
8th Dawid Smolka Poland 209,500
9th Conor Beresford United Kingdom 189,500
10th Simon Lofberg Sweden 188,500

Day 1b Sees Stars Rise and Fall

An even bigger day took place on Day 1b as a vast field of 825 entries bumped the EPT Prague total entries section to record numbers. With over 1,200 players now having entered, it was an incredible day of action where over $6 million in the prizepool meant players fought tooth and nail to survive. At the end of play, 405 survivors from Day 1b were led by  Ka Kwan Lau (322,000), who came home a nose ahead of British player Robert Cowen (321,500). With players such as the Albanian Arjel Daci (302,000) German Ismail Kalkan (242,500) and Dimitri Steinfeuer (238,500) all making the top five chipcounts.

Other big names thrived too, with Ami Barer (209,000), Marcin Horecki (192,000),  Lander Lijo (168,000) and Alexandre Reard (151,000) making the cut along with Parker Talbot (131,500), Alejandro Lococo (108,500), and Sam Grafton (64,500) from Team PokerStars.

Plenty of luminaries from the world of high-stakes poker busted on the day, with Jorryt van Hoof, Jack Sinclair, Rainer Kempe, Teun Mulder, Julien Martini, Kulvinder Sidhu, Fedor Holz, Gab Yong Kim, Ana Marquez, Maria Lampropulos and Hossein Ensan all hitting the rail during the day.

2022 EPT Prague Main Event Day 1b Top 10 Chipcounts:

Place Player Country Chips
1 Ka Kwan Lau Spain 322,000
2 Robert Cowen United Kingdom 321,500
3 Arjel Daci Albania 302,000
4 Ismail Kalkan Germany 242,500
5 Dimitri Steinfeuer Germany 238,500
6 Michael Pinto Netherlands 220,500
7 Kai Uwe Lach Germany 219,500
8 Petr Svoboda Czech Republic 219,000
9 Nikolay Ivanov Bulgaria 216,000
10 Nazar Buhaiov Ukraine 209,500

Strong Turnout Despite WPT World Championship

It has already been a very strong turnout in Prague ahead of the next day, which will include late entries which could yet set a European Poker Tour record. With so many people playing the $10,400-entry WPT World Championships in Las Vegas, the suspicion may well have been that the EPT Prague field might have been lighter in numbers.

Not a bit of it. With record numbers being set, the strength of both tournaments running in tandem, with Europeans plying their trade Stateside and a good turnout from North Americans in the Czech Republic, shows how strong poker is.

From the poker pandemic bringing many live events online to this new age of a changed WSOP and expanded EPT tours among others, the ffutrue of poker is clearly very bright.

Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson writes for GambleOnline.co about the gambling industry. His experience ranges from crypto and technology to sports, casinos, and poker. He went to Douglas College and started his journalism career at the Merritt Herald as a general beat reporter covering news, sports and community. Arthur lives in Hawaii and is passionate about writing, editing, and photography.

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