That's it. More than 200 eliminations, some ups and downs, one or two euphoric rises and the odd tragic collapse. After three courses for dinner and nine levels of play day 1a has finally come to a close in London. Outside Edgware Road is still alive, never a place to comform to modern expectations, with shops and bars still open for late night trade. Inside, for some at least, there is a collective sigh of relief.
We started with close to 300 players; a figure that in one day was bigger than the entire season one and two fields for the EPT London events. But by the close a few minutes ago fewer than 100 remained.
In the early optimism of the day, Team PokerStars Pros were on hand to stake their claim to EPT triumph. Former grand final winner Gavin Griffin and former EPT London winner Vicky Coren were here, so too Chad Brown, Vanessa Rousso, Victor Ramdin, William Thorson, Alex Kravchenko, Alex Gomes and Luca Pagano. Naturally there were fireworks along the way for all of them.
Gavin Griffin rocketed ahead to close to 70,000 before petering out late into level nine, beaten in big pots before making a move with minutes remaining. It didn’t work and his tragic swan dive was complete.
Team PokerStars Pro Gavin Griffin
Vanessa Rousso had a whizz-bang kind of day, like Griffin she roared high among the leaders in late afternoon before falling away slightly as darkness fell. There was also an early whoosh for William Thorson. The Swede had changed the habit of a lifetime by opting for a day 1a start rather than day 1b, but was soon destined for a day on the rail.
Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso
In terms of the overnight lead several names leap right out. PokerStars qualifier Sorel Mizzi is a candidate for that spot, perched as he is above a red and purple stack of more than 92,000. Max Pescatori is also there. His was an incredible performance today, one that took him from the depths of despair – a stack of 3,500 in the first few levels - up to a colossal 93,000. Scott Montgomery is also sitting pretty. He smiled his way through the last level thanks to a stack measuring upwards of 90,000.
Among the leaders, Sorel Mizzi
Below them are a host of notable others, listed on the chip counts page here. Not a bad day at the office for some Team PokerStars Pros. Despite the loss of Brown, Pagano, Gomes, Griffin and Thorson there was still hope in Alex Kravchenko and the alliterative trio of Victor, Vanessa and Vicky.
Tomorrow the bulk of Team PokerStars Pro will take their seat, among them World Champions Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer and Joe Hachem, alongside ElkY Grospellier, Barry Greenstein, Hevad Khan, Isabelle Mercier, Humberto Brenes and Dario Minieri. We will also see the majority of the PokerStars Six, the Million Dollar Men here for a warm up before their date with destiny next month. For sporting panache, how about Alberto Tomba and Boris Becker, both here tomorrow.
Tonight though, it’s a job well done for the 90 players leaving tonight already looking ahead to Friday and day two. To catch up on their day in full you can visit the links below.
About last night...
Coren’s second title plan takes minor dent
Bullet-point bulletin – No 1
Bullet-point bulletin – No 2
Table Tsar Kravchenko
Suarez swerves all-in to double up
First plane to Stockholm
What’s your beef?
Bullet-point bulletin – No 3
One up one down for Team PokerStars
Two ways to success
Bullet-point bulletin – No 4
Rousso rolling on
Back down to earth for Rousso
On their way home
Bullet-point bulletin – No 5
Also take a look back at the day in moving pictures over at the peerless PokerStars.tv. For a taster, here's what the Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand Grospellier had to say ahead of his appearance around the tables tomorrow.
Watch EPT London 08 day 1a; Bertrand Grospellier Interview on PokerStars.tv
And here's the PokerStars qualifier Eddie Holden, who has never played an EPT before he qualified for this one in a PokerStars satellite. It could be you next time.
Watch EPT London 08 Day 1a Eddie Holden Interview on PokerStars.tv