Alex Kravchenko and William Thorson, as well as former EPT winners Mike McDonald, Andreas Hoivold, Joao Barbosa, Will Fry, his Main Event victory and could likely use a little extra to pay the accountant, but found himself eliminated after firing three bullets at Stuart Rutter on an ace-high board and seeing the Brit flat-call all the way to the river.
At showdown, Rutter turned up a weak ace that had morphed into two pair on the turn while Eastgate was possessed of only A-K. Thus did the latter hit the road with markedly less fanfare than that with which he'd entered the day, having kicked off the proceedings with the ceremonial "shuffle up and deal" only a few hours earlier.
Making far better use of his $10,000 starting stack was Christer Johansson, who'd amassed a fairly decent stack by the end of the seventh and penultimate level before running into a donkey seemingly hell-bent on sloughing off the entirety of his stack.
In a hand that defies explanation, Johansson and said donkey were heads-up on the river of an A♦ 6♣ 5♦ 7♠ 4♥ board with $12,000 in the pot. Action checked to Johansson, who bet out $25,000, and for his gall was rewarded with a bit of tankage from his rival.
Eventually, the donk announced "I think I have to call" and matched the wager. Johansson immediately turned up 9♠ 8♠ for the stone nuts and his rival mucked, claiming he'd flopped two pair and couldn't get away in what may be the absolute worst play in the history of bad plays.
For his involvement in that donkstrikerous debacle, Johansson assumed the chip lead and rode that to the finish line, unofficial closing up Level 8 with around $108,000 to his name. That puts him ahead of Day 1a chip leader Ludovic Lacay, as well as of Day 1b survivors Minieri, Boeken, Antony Lellouche and Thierry van den Berg.
Notable eliminations over the first eight hours of play include the likes of Thater, Kravchenko, Thorson, McDonald, Davidi Kitai and Nenad Medic. All told, approximately 96 players survived the carnage and they'll join up with the 83 who made it through Day 1a to create an uberfield for Thursday's Day 2.
We'll play another eight levels tomorrow on our quest to burst the bubble and delve deeper into the Prague Paradox, while Friday will see the survivors play down to an eight-handed final table. Action will resume at noon CET (that's 6 a.m. EST for you early risers) and continue throughout the day, so keep it locked on PokerListings.com for the full report from the very heart of the Czech Republic. We out!