Day two at the PokerStars.com EPT main event in San Remo, and let’s kick off with a prediction: these first couple of hours are going to be absolute carnage. Having watched enough EPT events, and having in particular watched those featuring a large number of Italian players, the early stages of a second day are blockbuster all-in fests. “Short-stacks” are defined by anything less than about 50 big blinds, “playable hands” include any hand with a picture card or a pair bigger than deuces, and “double up or get home” is very much the predominant mindset. There’s no point in hanging around.
With all that in mind, we will begin today with 469 players and at a conservative estimate, I think we’ll be down to 300 by 4pm. I could be wrong, but we’ll see.
As ever, the place to witness all the action will be here on PokerStars Blog, where we will cling onto the coat tails of those flying up the chip ladder and tread in the scorched paths of those burning out the door. For Team PokerStars Pro, the names to watch are Isabelle Mercier, Marcin Horecki, Alex Kravchenko, Katja Thater and Luca Pagano, the latter of whom will be especially keen to stay as long as he can around the tables. Pagano has been working all hours over the past months to get this tournament to run smoothly, and there’s surely even more admin to deal with if he busts out.
Those five are among the most notable sharks hunting the likes of Dragan Galic, Ljubomir Josipovic, Vincenzo Spinelli, Govert Metaal and Nikolay Losev, the unfamiliar names sitting behind the five largest chip stacks. Stefano Ruggieri is the highest placed of more than 60 PokerStars qualifiers still in the hunt, and the German ShootingStar Florian Langmann remains well placed, likewise the Friends of PokerStars Bill Chen and Tom McEvoy. Also we’ll be keeping an eye on the likes of the internet superstars Lex “RaSZi” Veldhuis, Sami “Lars Luzak” Kelopuro, Laurence “rivermanl” Houghton, Richard “Chufty” Ashby. Or maybe the previous EPT champions Jason Mercier, Michael Martin, Pascal Perrault or Salvatore Bonavena.
In short, it’s going to be a tough day for players, reporters and, dare I say, readers alike today. Stick with us and we’ll get through it together.