The EPT Live cameras positioned around the feature table have created a new perspective from which to follow the action from the early stages of EPT Deauville. The opening levels are not traditionally where the tournament is won -- although it can certainly be lost -- but they can provide some of the more fascinating stories from the entire event. If only you can find them.
Day 1B is typically a more vibrant session than its predecessor, capturing the bulk of the big names, as well as those quite sensibly saving themselves a night's hotel bill. But with more players to choose from you often find the stories that will go unmentioned when the champion lifts the trophy, but which offer an insight into the type of game you need to survive.
Deauville harbour a short walk away from the Casino
Past EPT Deauville events have done just that. To pick just one, in Season 2 the talk was all about a hand involving the former World Series main event winner Greg Raymer, and a young English pro named Julian Thew.
On only the second hand of the day Raymer, holding queen-ten of diamonds, flopped top pair with a flush draw and moved all-in. Thew was looking down at pocket aces, with a diamond, and called Raymer, eliminating the bracelet winner when his aces held up. It certainly set Thew (who would later win EPT Baden) on his way to a 21st place finish that year, and freed up Raymer to grant interviews to the waiting press wanting to analyse the hand.
Back then Deauville was a three day event, so perhaps the opening day held more significance. It was also the biggest event in EPT history at the time, with 434 runners.
Seven seasons later and it takes eight days to find a winner, from fields that in the past two seasons have approached 900. The stakes are higher and the fields tougher, even more so on Day 1B.
That's what we'll witness today when play gets underway. Follow the action on our live coverage page, with feature articles from the day appearing on the PokerStars Blog until play stops at around midnight tonight.
But in two hours you can see for yourself how things are at EPT Deauville when the day's EPT Live coverage begins, presented by James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton. In the meantime, all the scores from yesterday can be found on the chip counts page.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter