This is the 13th event of season six so we expect you know the drill by now. A mass of humanity turned up to play day 1A today, 351 to be exact, each paying €10,000 for 30,000 chips and one last crack of the EPT whip before the summer break.
Long term they were here to win the EPT Grand Final, but their short term target this afternoon was to survive the day – nine one hour levels and a dinner break. Most survived the fish course and dessert, but 176 would not complete the levels.
Of those who remain today chief among them is Simon Munz of Germany who carried the flag of chip leader tonight, bagging up 175,200, marginally ahead of Chris Bjorin of Sweden, who finished on 171,100.
You’ll also know that at this stage there are also a bunch of others who will sleep soundly tonight.
Antonio Palma was in sight of the lead, closing on 169,000. David Paredes also finished strongly on 144,600. Johannes Steindl led the Team PokerStars charge, closing on 141,300 tonight.
While they leave the Salles des Etoiles looking up at the stars a great many are stuck in the gutter, perhaps looking at the same stars but unable to reach them, busted in all manner of ways today and laying to rest Grand Final ambitions for another year.
Within a level or two we’d lost former champions Antonio Matias and Gavin Griffin while Barry Greenstein and Dennis Phillips were each early departures; the Phils Laak and Ivey were also early fallers.
Team PokerStars Pro had mixed fortunes. Former World Champions Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer both made it through, as did Florian Langmann, Vadim Markushevski, Grayson Physioc and Martin Hruby.
On the flip side were the likes of Alex Kravchenko, Leo Fernandez, Anton Alleman, Chad Brown, Arnaud Mattern and Ben Kang, all of whom now look to side events for their salvation.
You can find out for yourself the names of the others who we’ll be welcoming back on day two, those with names like Sarwer, MacPhee, Barbosa, Kyllonen and Giaroni, on the chip count page. While tomorrow you should ready yourself for a bigger field, some bumper names and an equally frenetic day on the road to the Grand Final winner.
You can re-live all the highs and lows of today’s coverage (we admit there were dull bits) at any of the links below.
This being the big one all sorts of countries were represented today including German, Italian, French, Dutch and Swedish. Photography today was a service provided by Neil Stoddart and the videos of the day can all be found on PokerStars.tv. The PokerStars Blog was brought to you by the colours black, blond and ginger, and the letters HS, MC, RD, SY and SB.
In about 12 hours we’ll be back for day 1B and all that that means. Thanks for following the coverage today; we’re off to see if the streets here really are paved with gold. Join us again tomorrow.