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PokerStars EPT Prague Main Event Day 1b: Andrey Zaichenko Leads Record-Breaking Field

Andrey Zaichenko

Another eight levels have been played in the 2014 European Poker Tour Season 11 Prague Main Event, and another busy day is in the books. With 342 players on Day 1a, Day 1b needed the devil's number 666 to break lasts year's record. Season's 10 EPT in Prague saw Julian Track come on top of a field of 1,007, and all eyes were on the tournament clock to see if that record would be broken.

Quite early on it was clear that would most definitely happen.

At the end of the day the clock showed a total of 750 players entered Day 1b, making the total for two starting days a combined 1,092 entries. That number could still get bigger, too, as players are able to register up until the start of Day 2.

After winning last year, Track promised not to ever play live poker again. He didn't keep that promise, having showed up and cashing in several other tournaments afterwards, but he didn't come to the Czech Republic's capital to defend his title. Runner-up Georgios Sotiropoulos did though, gathering 40,900 in chips to end the day.

Stephen Chidwick, who took the bronze last year in both the Eureka Poker Tour Main Event and EPT Main Event here in Prague, made for the hat trick yesterday finishing third for the third time. This time he finished third in the €50,000 Super High Roller for €355,070. Chidwick was back in action today in the Main Event to get to a position where he could for once and for all take care of his heads-up and winner photo phobia. Chidwick gathered 55,400 in chips on Day 1b.

Chidwick shared a table with Jennifer Shahade, who had the biggest win in her career earlier this week. The PokerStars Mind Sports Ambassador wasn't able to make her Prague trip even better though, as she busted in one of the last hands of the day.

Dan Shak, who won back his Super High Roller buy-in and then some by finishing runner-up to Louis Salter in the Eureka Poker Tour High Roller for €103,530 late last night, was back at it in the Main Event today as well. He gathered chips early on, but then got into a battle with Sergii Baranov that saw five bets go in before the flop, and even more post. With his pocket tens, Shak rivered a flush, but the {Q-Hearts} had given his Ukrainian opponent a full house. With a pained, but still smiling face, Shak left the tournament area. On the other hand, Baranov ended the day with 230,000.

Eugene Katchalov, who finished third in last night's Eureka High Roller event, was at it as well, just like many of his colleagues from Team PokerStars Pro. Katchalov ended the day with 30,600, whereas Liv Boeree bagged 20,600, Theo Jorgensen finished on 74,400, and Marcin Horecki finishing on 21,400 in chips.

Fellow Team Pro Luca Pagano will not make an appearance on the second of six days of poker. He lost a big pot to Vanessa Selbst where she flopped top two and got maximum value. Pagano then lost the rest of his chips to Belgian three-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner Davidi Kitai, but it was Selbst who made the most waves at that table. She had a great first day, one of the best of anyone in the room. She got a lot of chips early by making a full house when her opponent, Ludovic Geilich, had a smaller full house. Selbst ended the day with 141,800.

Someone who'll also be able to tell you a thing or two about coolers is Micah Raskin. In the Super High Roller, he lost a massive pot with kings against the eventual winners tens after the money went all in preflop. Here in the Main Event, luck again wasn't on his side. He lost a big flush-over-flush hand to Craig Sayers, but did recover and ended the day with 56,300 in chips.

The chip leader going into Day 2 will be Andrey Zaichenko with 237,600. In one of the last hands of the day, he clashed with Chris Moorman in a six-bet pot. Zaichenko had aces, and Moorman had kings. No kings or other help came on the board, and Zaichenko scooped the pot. He even made a flush he didn't need to on the river.

The clock read 423 survivors for the day, and those players will join the 201 that survived the first starting day to come back tomorrow, Saturday, at noon local time for Day 2. Day 2 has six levels of play scheduled and PokerNews will once more bring you updates of all the action from start to finish.

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