November Niner Amir Lehavot Takes Chiplead Into Day 2 of Prague Main Event

Amir Lehavot hopes to cap a career year with an EPT title in Prague, and he's off to a good start. (Photo c/o Neil Stoddart/PokerStars Blog)

Amir Lehavot hopes to cap a career year with an EPT title in Prague, and he’s off to a good start. (Photo c/o Neil Stoddart/PokerStars Blog)

An already record-setting field in the 2013 EPT Prague Main Event could reach a major milestone before the start of Day 2, after a considerable turnout Friday pushed the field tantalizingly close to 1,000 players.

The 609 who put up €5,300 to enter on Day 1B of the EPT Prague Main Event put the total entries at 998 – just two shy of a 1,000 player mark that has previously only been reached at the tour’s stops in Barcelona and the Caribbean for the PCA. Registration remains open until the start of Day 2 Saturday afternoon, so the possibility remains open.

One man stands above the rest heading into Day 2 – November Niner Amir Lehavot. Fresh off his $3.7 million cash for third place in the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event, Lehavot dominated on Day 1B and bagged 239,300, putting him well ahead of the rest of the pack. He did it while sitting next to fellow Main Event final tablist Marc-Etienne McLaughlin, who also made it through to Day 2 – albeit on a much shorter stack.

The group of 338 that was fortunate enough to make it through Day 1B also included big stacks Sigurd Eskeland (191,100), Jonathan Roy (149,100), yet another November Niner in Sylvain Loosli (148,300) and Luca Pagano (137,600). Further down the chip counts you’ll find Davidi Kitai, Ludovic Lacay, Eugene Katchalov, Bertrand Grospellier, Eoghan O’Dea and Martin Staszko.

Two other players who made it through have something on the line outside of the EPT title and a massive payday – BLUFF Player of the Year honors. After winning the Eureka Poker Tour High Roller Thursday, David Peters injected himself into the POY conversation with Daniel Negreanu and, ostensibly, Philipp Gruissem. Peters and Negreanu finished Day 1B with virtually identical stacks – 76,000 for Peters, 74,600 for Negreanu – as each hopes to end 2013 with a flourish in the Main Event and High Roller here in Prague.

Gruissem was most notable in his absence. While registration remains open through the start of Day 2, the persisting rumor circling around is that neither Gruissem nor a number of other German High Roller specialists would be making the trip to Prague. If that is indeed the case, Negreanu only needs to fend off one contender on the way to his potential coronation.

The 548 players left in the field will resume play at 12 pm local time in Prague and continue their march towards the final table on Wednesday.

2013 EPT Prague Main Event – End of Day 1 Chip Counts

  1. Amir Lehavot – 239,300
  2. Tiberu-Florian Georgescu – 191,100
  3. Sigurd Eskeland – 184,600
  4. Ari Engel – 172,800
  5. Kirill Shugai – 169,100
  6. Ronny Voth – 166,400
  7. Joao Simao – 163,100
  8. Sebastian Saffari – 162,000
  9. Simon Mattsson – 161,400
  10. Ori Hasson – 157,600
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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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