If it seems just days since the European Poker Tour was enjoying Bahamian sunshine and the lullaby of ocean lapping the shore, it’s because it was just days. Rarely are such short breaks scheduled on the EPT, but it was still with relish and unrestrained excitement that players headed back to Europe, to Normandy, France, rum cocktails still speaking of summer in their blood streams; to the picturesque coastal town of Deauville, a town unique for its glimpse of pleasant luxury and premier poker.
Cynics had suggested that, coming so soon after the Caribbean Adventure, numbers would be down this week. Instead it’s been proven categorically wrong, 339 players cramming into the Salle des Ambassadeurs this afternoon, spilling into the neighbouring Salon Prive. With them they brought urgency to fuel a steady stream of eliminations, 140 today to send some to the top and other to the rail.
Coming out best was Robert Cezarescu, a PokerStars qualifier from Romania, who emerged from out of nowhere tonight, bagging up 216,900.
In pursuit were Corneliu Cretu (186,000 chips), Francoise Cousin (162,900) and Julien Riou (156,900), each of whom likely to enjoy their day off tomorrow. Not far behind were the pursuers hoping the reel them in, among them Jamal Maistriaux and Oleh Okhotskyi, whose official counts, along with those of all of today’s 199 survivors, can be found on the chip count page once it is declared official by officials. It’s what they do.
Day 1a may have been short on Team PokerStars Pros but the four that appeared remain after worthy efforts. Katja Thater struggled all day to find a hand to fight with but bagged up 56,400 when she found kings to crack aces. Newest member of the team Richard Toth, flying the colours of Hungary, closed with 30,600 and Arnaud Mattern shored up his hopes for a home turf triumph with a late night romp, albeit a self-described “sick” one, bagging up 60,200. Meanwhile Vlad Zguba, unsung hero of Ukrainians everywhere, closed on 30,500.
Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern
Other than that it was your standard issue day 1a, served with fresh bread, chocolate mousse and a fruity Merlot. It had your basics: fewer players at the end than at the start, and the odd character ready to squeeze this event for everything it’s worth. They now head out into freezing Deauville to find a warm bar to serve them fizzy drinks until they feel able to sleep. Funnily enough the defeated will be doing the same.
Needless to say you can recap on each of the jet-lagged levels played today at the links below:
That’s your Wednesday. Till Thursday it’s good night.