EPT Warsaw: Antony Lellouche leads the lot in chase for the Polish zlots

October 21, 2009

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We’re used to surprises on the EPT, but today’s surprise was that there wasn’t one. Not really. We may have found out at the mid-point of the afternoon that the most represented country in Poland was France, with 28 players from the total 203, but that’s not exactly seismic in its shock value.

No, everything else could have been predicted before we even showed up. It was day 1b, so there were more players than day 1a. Correct: 115 sat down in Warsaw this afternoon, beating yesterday’s 88. The prize pool was announced, and someone is going to be very happy come Sunday afternoon. That’s true too: first prize is the Polish equivalent of €358,644.

We might also have added to our pre-play predictions that Carter Phillips’ total of nigh-on 200,000 was going to be very difficult to overhaul. But if anyone was going to do it, it would be someone like Antony Lellouche, one of the EPT’s bona fide tyrants of the early levels.

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Antony Lellouche

I wish I’d have put that on paper, because that was bang on as well: Lellouche was top of the pops today and bagged up 131,475. Tres bien.

It was a pretty good day for the populous French. Ludovic Lacay is also riding high: he finished with 75,000. The PokerStars qualifier Xavier Cena also had a good run at it: he was among the early leaders but finished with 28,500, eclipsing his countryman and Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier.

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Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier

ElkY started on one of the nightmare early tables, alongside Sami Kelopuro, Jani Sointula, Richard Gryko and the aforementioned Lacay. Kelopuro perished, but the other three remain, although ElkY would surely prefer more than his 14,000 chips.

There was another storm brewing on a neighbouring table, where Shaun Deeb made his way from the online world to a seat right beside another internet whirlwind, Dario Minieri. They were soon joined by William Thorson, three in a row.

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William Thorson

Their conversation was chummy enough, but their play was anything but soft: Minieri put Thorson out of his misery, and Deeb also got heavily involved all day. At close, the Italian has 28,000 while Deeb is clinging on with 24,000.

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Dario Minieri

A lot of their collective chips went to the Slovak player Jan Bendik, who picked up whatever debris splintered off when the aggressive youngsters collided. The same description could be applied to the uber-aggro Russian Vitaly Tolokonnikov, who was remorseless on a table alongside Sebastian Ruthenberg, Sorel Mizzi, Scotty Nguyen and Katja Thater. (You know you’ve made an impression if Ruthenberg complains about the frequency of your three-bets. Such was the case for Tolokonnikov today.)

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Vitaly Tolokonnikov

The Russian, who finished third in Kyiv earlier this season, was up to about 80,000 at one point, but went on what an unnamed colleague described as a “spunking spree” late on. One of the main beneficiaries was the Canadian Jeff Sarwer, who wound up with 102,025.

Thater departed – sevens into Nguyen’s aces – and she was joined on the rail by JP Kelly and Florian Langmann, among others. Thierry van den Berg had a much better time of it, getting a stroke of fortune with pocket queens to beat kings in the second level, and grinding it out from there. Van den Berg will have 46,000 tomorrow.

As for the other big names, well, Alexander Klimashin is fairly sizeable – 18 letters in all (joke (c) all our coverage from Ukraine). Klimashin had a great day, silently amassing 105,650, which is second from today’s offerings. Alessio Isaia is also up there, with 95,300.

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Alexander Klimashin

Scotty Nguyen, a “big name” in the other sense, finished with 25,000, better than Gus Hansen, who was definitely in Warsaw, but didn’t even make it to the tables. He hadn’t arrived by the end of level two, and that was the curfew. We certainly missed him, but trust he enjoyed the old town in the rain.

That is where we’re now bidden – to the bars and restaurants, I mean. You can feast your eyes on any of today’s coverage by clicking the following links:

Day 1b introduction
Today’s players
Levels one and two updates
Level three and four updates
Level five and six updates
Level seven updates

Similar, with more spittle, is available at our German and Polish sister blogs. Video blogs are at PokerStars.tv. Today’s photos were brought to you by the letters N-E-I-L S-T-O-D-D-A-R-T.

See you tomorrow for day two proper, where today’s 88 survivors combine with the 64 that came through yesterday. Ta ta.

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