Day 1a of the EPT Dortmund event completed yesterday with 70 of the original 198 participants surviving to fight another day. Day 1a had started an hour later than scheduled, mostly due to the large number of people hoping to register for the event. Boris Becker, one of the best tennis players in the world during his career, was expected to play as a member of Team Poker Stars, but had to stay home due to the onset of a sudden illness. Becker’s doctor forbid travel, disappointing many fans who had wanted to see their idol play. Among the big names participating in Day 1a were Finn Juha Helppi and German Katja Thater, as well as a number of other prestigious European poker players.
The European Poker Tour’s Dortmud Event is taking place at Casino Hohensyburg, which overlooks the Ruhr River. The casino’s outer walls are almost entirely windows, allowing for great views of the German countryside. There are three thirteenth century castles near Dortmund, one of which bears the name Hohensyburg. The beautiful casino also has a moat surrounding it, paying tribute to the castle with which it shares its name. Castle Hohensyburg was destroyed in the thirteenth century and lies near the village of Syburg.
As always, Day 1a was filled with intense poker playing, chip stacks that were on a roller coaster ride, big to small to big again, and many painful eliminations at the whim of the poker gods. Chabot Cyrille of France was the chip leader at the end of the day, holding 111,100 chips, with his next nearest competitor holding only 71,300, a difference of nearly 40,000, more than a 1/3 of Cyrille’s stack. The short stack was American Dustin Mele, who held only 4,300 in chips. Mele was the winner of the Poker Stars Passport, which is sending him to ten different poker tournaments at various locations around the world.
At the time of this writing, Day 1b is currently being fought at Casino Hohensyburg in Dortmund, Germany.