When the high rollers began play just after 12 noon today there were few tables with more than the three player minimum required before the dealer can even shuffle the cards. Flash forward a few hours and the story is a little different.
High Roller fields have this unusual habit of getting bigger and bigger, even when players are eliminated. It’s all down to the single re-entry permitted to players, a kind of €10k insurance policy which, rather than reducing the number of players, tends to increase it, at least for the first day while it’s allowed.
So now the field is not short of players, but is 94 strong, led after the dinner break by chip leader Andrea Dato on 240,000.
Dato, while not widely known outside of his native Italy, is a bit of a demon in these parts, with multiple results across his home country. Most notable is his WPT Venice title, won back in March this year which was worth $145,439. Add to that various final table appearances in IPT events and beyond and you have the makings of a player stepping up to the elite High Roller stage. After seven levels it’s so far so good.
As you’d expect his competition is quite weighty. Yann Dion and Griffin Benger are not far behind the leader, and names like Ole Schemion, Thomas Muhlocker (a high roller winner this season), Steve O’Dwyer, Vanessa Selbst, Martin Jacobson and Jonathan Duhamel all feature prominently.
They make up just a small selection of a longer list which you can find amid our live coverage pages. It’s there you’ll have access to hand-for-hand action all the way through to the finish this evening, expected at around midnight local time. You won’t find Olivier Busquet, Sorel Mizzi, Vladimir Troyanovsky or Michel Abecassis in that list, each having busted (for now, registration remains open until 11.45am tomorrow), but all the other big names are right where you’d expect them.
Full coverage of EPT Sanremo is on the main EPT Sanremo page. There’s hand-by-hand coverage in the panel at the top and feature pieces below.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.