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Mattern Seeks EPT Prague Repeat
Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern may be from France, but he feels right at home in the Czech Republic.
After rising to poker stardom with a win in Prague during the European Poker Tour’s fourth season and the kind start Tuesday that could lead to another deep run, who can blame him.
“It’s always good to come back to a tournament where you had a big score,” Mattern told PokerListings after bagging 86,000 in chips at the end of Day 1a. “I have a real crush on all the Eastern European countries, but I truly love Prague.”
Mattern started the day six-betting an opponent off his hand with nothing but a pair of fours and after flashing one card, he said he knew it was going to be a good day.
“The table was on tilt,” he said. “It set the right tone for the day.”
A total of 219 players began Day 1a in Prague, but just 117 made it through.
EPT Dortmund finalist Marc Gork ended with the chip lead, but using the selectively aggressive style he’s built a reputation for, Mattern accumulated chips throughout the day and sits within striking distance just outside the top 20.
However, the veteran French pro understands the road to a repeat in Prague is not going to be an easy one.
“The tables are really tough,” he said. “Most of them have at least one or two really good guys fighting to get the chips from the fish at the table.”
Here in Eastern Europe and all over the EPT, Mattern said it appears the skill level is getting better every day.
“I think everybody is getting smarter,” he explained. “It takes more skill, stamina and mental toughness to achieve your goals because play is improving. You need to play you’re A-game all the time.”
When he returns to the tables for Day 2 Thursday, Mattern will be sitting on an above-average stack, but has no plans to play the bully.
In fact, he has no plans at all.
“It really depends who is at my table,” he said. “I don’t really like to make a lot of plans. Obviously if everybody has 40k at my table I’m going to have some fun and not play only sets and straights, but it really depends who is at my table and what kind of mood I am in.”
For now he just wants to play solid poker and focus on winning in Prague again.
“I know it’s very easy to have a really big party here and that would be a good excuse,” he said.
PokerStars EPT Prague continues with Day 1b Wednesday. For comprehensive coverage, click through to PokerListings’ Live Updates.