With the departure of Eric Sfez and Freerk Post the field is reduced to 21 players spread out over three tables. Looking at the player list there is a mixture of youth and experience, with a variety of ages as well as success rates between them.
As far as prize money goes James Mitchell is way out from with live tournament earnings of $1,420,000. The bulk of that came from his Irish Open win in 2010, a title worth €600,000 to the Londoner, who returned today with an average stack but for many he’ll be today’s pick.
Mitchell’s earnings are more than double that of the next player, the now departed Sfez, a Partouche event winner in Cannes as well as runner up in an EPT Sanremo side event. Sfez also won a 10K event here in Deauville 12 months ago, a reminder perhaps that sometimes home field advantage does work. Alas, none of this counted today.
The only other player with more than half a million dollars in live earnings is Gordon Huntly. The Scot first pinged the radar at APPT Manila in 2010, where he was runner up for $166,800. More results followed in Macau and the Philippines before he won the Sydney event of the ANZPT in March of last year. Before this week Huntly had yet to cash on the EPT*. That’s all changed and he could yet make a first final.
While there are three players with more than half a million, there are seven with less than $10,000, four of which have yet to record any kind of live cash.
Remi Castaignon, Romeo Robert, Joseph El Khoury and Joseph Mouawad (no, not that Joseph Mouawad), are penniless in the live tournament world, or will be until their elimination sends them home via the pay-out desk. Hugo Pingray, who has shown stolid demeanour at the tables, betrays his lack of major results, playing like a man who has spent years on the tour.
Joseph Mouawad Joseph Mouawad
But the amount of money won often has little bearing on results on the day, as today’s play demonstrates clearly. Chip leader at the first break, overtaking Cyril Andre, is Castaignon. He has no live results to speak of and yet takes the chip lead into Level 23.
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* Correction: Huntly has actually cashed on the EPT before, in London, 2010. Apologies for the error.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter