The landscape is beginning to change in the tournament room. Over on the staff desk a pile of I.D. cards is being collected. At 1pm it was as tall as a brick laid on its side, representing about fifty players no longer with us. It’ll be bigger by now.
As far as the chip lead goes that was still in the hands of Finnish player Aku Joentausta an hour in, whose initial starting stack of around 236,000, also about the size of a brick, was still good, but only just. Leader on Day 1B Guy Bacher, from Israel, has started well. When I first saw him he’d rivered a flush to reach 200,000. When I saw him again he was stacking more chips. A solid start.
“No not big hands, just small pots,” he said at the break, although he was less subtle in his account of yesterday. “Probably I got lucky.”
Paul Williams earlier this week
Elsewhere Paul Williams, the PokerStars Qualifier of the Day of Day 1A keeps his seat, although not the same one he started in owing to a table change.
“I haven’t really had any hands at all but the table has a few short stacks,” said the amiable Williams. “I’ll target hem I guess and see how it goes. I’ve still got plenty of chips, even though I took a hit late on the first day.”
Williams, who spent yesterday with friends at a water park, had been among the leaders yesterday with more than 100,000 when a hand towards the cut his stack down by more than half.
“I was playing quite aggressively was trying to dominate the table,” he said, explaining that he tangled with another player who had flashed some aggression, ultimately losing with ace-king to the other guy’s kings on a king high flop.
“Basically I lost a 100k pot,” he said. “But if I hadn’t done so well at the start of the day I’d be out.”
On day one Lucille Cailly had faced a tough table draw, alongside Mike McDonald and Toby Lewis. Lewis took some of her chips before winning them back.
Then she busted McDonald before the close. Cailly, who was runner up just a couple of months ago in the EPT Grand Final, is the chip leader right now, playing a stack of 250,000.