The EPT Tallinn main event has a new leader tonight as Day 1B concludes the opening festivities of this new season.
As the clock inched into the final and seventh level today, four players had breached the six-figure mark, with Sergy Pilugin (101,650), Anatolii Ozhenilok (108,125) and Jani Sointula (123,950) among them.
But at the bell it was Oscar Lima who had the field beat, bagging up 132,000. For the Spaniard the title of overnight chip leader, but only the hopelessly optimistic would see that as anything but a fleeting reward.
Our chip leader tonight, Oscar Lima
The whole day came as a bit of a shock to Lima. The 23-year-old from Zaragoza, Spain, is playing in his first ever EPT - and first ever major live tournament. Why Tallinn? "Well, it's the first one of the season," he said. "Maybe I'll play some more."
The pivotal hand came early, when he flopped a flush with nine-ten suited and faded a bigger flush draw from the only other sizable stack on the table. That put Lima beyond six figures in level three, and he was able to coast from there.
Jani Sointula finished in second place
Lima plays major tournaments online, so the game itself is no problem. Indeed, it was only at the very end of the day that any inexperience showed: after shoving a chip-leading stack into his bag, he needed dealer assistance to find the seal.
But once the sticky strip was off and the chips safely locked away, Lima could scoot off for a deep sleep ahead of his first-ever live day two.
Lima leads what has proved smaller than other EPT events, but what EPT Tallinn lacks in size it makes up for in quality, with a field of 190 arriving today peppered with former champions of assorted class and pedigree.
Former EPT winners Jens Kyllonen, Kevin Stani, Sebastian Ruthenberg, Michael Tureniec and Toby Lewis took their seats today (the latter three busting), accompanied by not-so-shoddy counterparts including Team PokerStars Pros JP Kelly, Ville Wahlbeck and Dario Minieri, each of whom will return tomorrow.
Season 7 winner Kevin Stani
He may not have the lead tonight but Minieri certainly ranks as the day's most entertaining player. Season 7 was something of a dry patch for the Italian; zero cashes, followed by a World Series of Poker with the same outcome, but a change of play (to be detailed in tomorrow's coverage) has made for a visible difference, with Minieri playing with the style and flair that, had spectators been allowed anywhere near his table, would have made for compulsive viewing.
Minieri, along with the 130 survivors from today, and the 68 players from yesterday, turn their attention to Day 2. Chip counts from today will be available on the chip count page.
It all continues tomorrow when we return at 12 noon. In the meantime catch up on the events of today at the links below. Videos from the day can be found on PokerStars.tv.
All photos on PokerStars Blog from Tallinn are ©Neil Stoddart/PokerStars.