Day 2 at The Festival in Bratislava isn’t over, exactly – various side events will be playing on into the small hours and beyond, and the cash games are only just getting going as new players flood in fresh from busting one tournament or another. However, with the bagging and tagging of chips from the first flight of the Main Event now complete, this seems like a good time to reflect on the day that was.
Day 1a racked up an impressive 134 entries, significantly more than last year. After 12 levels, 39 players still possessed chips, with the biggest stack belonging to Swedish player Rickard Larsson on 256,000. He gets to bask in the warm glow of the chip lead for now, but there are another four starting flights to go before Day 2 on Saturday – and even then, there’ll be another two levels until registration closes and it all starts to turn serious. For now, please scroll down to see all the Day 1a survivors and their chip counts.
In side event news, a few winners were declared today – although their custom-made personalised trophies have yet to arrive from the artist who’s rushing to produce them overnight. The Knockout event actually finished last night, but at so late an hour that your bloggers were already asleep in their cells by then. We learned this morning that Jakub Matusiak was the eventual winner, getting €1,155 for his efforts. The Hendon Mob Warm Up also wrapped up late but was always scheduled as a two-day event. Eighteen players returned today, and it was eventually won by Peter Zolnai who turned around a massive chip deficit heads-up to pull off a spectacular victory against Simon Wilson. He won €7,000, and will also get one of those lovely personalised trophies in due course. And we also crowned a new Sviten Special champion – Michael “Lillis” Johansson. His reward comprises €3,841, and the promise of his face on a trophy delivered tomorrow. Full results for side events can be found here. And galleries from all events, courtesy of our esteemed photographer colleague Mairo Toom, are up here.
Other events that have kept us busy today but are unlikely to conclude for a while yet include the PLO Masters, where we spotted Finnish poker legend Ilari Sahamies among the field, and the always hilarious Roulette Championship, the final of which will take place tomorrow at 10pm. Those of you who tuned in to our live stream today will have been treated to the Acroud Charity Sit N Go, where players including Acroud’s head of poker Mau Altikardes and The Festival’s drinker-in-chief Franke von Zweigbergk battled it out for various good causes. All this, plus a plethora of supersats – and neither the cash games nor the bar ever close.
Sleep may indeed be optional at The Festival, but the tournament start times are set in stone. Tomorrow we’ll be back on the floor bright and early for the start of Day 1b at noon. Other highlights tomorrow include the Blackjack Championship, the €1,100 PLO High Roller, and the Gambling Cabin Sportsbook Tourney. There’s something for everyone in the packed schedule – you can check out the whole thing here.
We’re off to recharge our blogging batteries for a while now. Join us back here tomorrow for more insightful reportage, silly puns and so on – until then, see you at the bar.