Gaston Onana Leads Partouche Main Event after Day 2

Gaston OnanaBelgian qualifier Gaston Onana leads the field in Cannes after a day overshadowed by the withdrawal of the Partouche Poker Main Event guarantee.

Day 2s of major poker tournaments are usually quite dour affairs – with players trying to establish a foothold in the event without risking their tournament lives. However, Day 2 of the Partouche Poker Tour at the Palm Beach Casino in Cannes was completely the opposite.

Possibly the large number of French qualifiers had an influence on the standard of the play – with “nit-rolled” quickly turning into the term of the day to describe unintended slow rolls by clueless players – and an abnormal number of bust outs, both early and late in the day.

Durr and Darr Bust Early

The news that Partouche were withdrawing the 5 million Euros prize pool guarantee could not be blamed for the demise of those who perished early – most notably Tom Dwan and the pink-scalped Guillaume Darcourt (he doesn´t have so much hair these days!).

Tom Dwan used the late registration facility to pay the €8,500 buy-in at the beginning of Day 2 and in his very first hand he was dealt KK. Getting all his chips into the middle, he was called by a French player who held 10 10 and Mohsin “Chicago Hands 1” Charania who had been dealt AA.

The Aces held and Dwan tweeted after the hand that it had been a “fun trip”, whereas Charania´s comment was First hand of the day got it in AA vs Durrs KK and some fre[n]chies 10s to bust both up to 130 Charania ended the day with a healthy chip stack of 194,000.

Darcourt was even less fortunate – seeing his pocket Eights hit a set on the flop against a player who had called his pre-flop shove with QQ. Just moments after Dwan had left for the bar, Darcourt joined him as his opponent rivered a Queen. That´s four seasons without a cash in the Partouche Poker Tour for Darcourt since he first came onto the radar with a twelfth place finish in this event in 2008.

Last Level Lunacy

The news that Partouche were reneging on the guarantee for the tournament obviously left a lot of players upset, but few would have imagined just how much it was going to affect the desire of some players to turn up for Day 3.

In the last level of the day (L12 blinds 1,000/2,000), players who were seemingly safely stacked threw away their tournament lives. With less than half an hour of the day remaining, Sam Trickett tweeted “Got 53K. Got some work to do if I Wna win this again”. 15 minutes later, Trickett was out – blaming a cold deck and announcing that he was heading home to his sofa.

Trickett´s departure occurred at exactly the same time as Day 1 fifth place player Robert Mizrachi, and there was still time for another ten players to bust out before the end of the evening – including Todd Terry and Jason Mercier.

Onana Rises to the Top

Out of all the carnage, the major beneficiary was Belgian qualifier Gaston Onana. Having gone into the last level with 271,000 chips, he emerged at the end of the day with 412,000 chips – the only player to crack the 400,00 barrier – and with a 27 big blind lead over his nearest competitor French qualifier Paul Tedeschi.

Tedeschi performed particularly well to finish the day on 384,200 chips as he was playing for most of the day on a table which included Mads Wissing, Frederick Jensen, Justin Bonomo and James Bord. The young student has a narrow chip advantage over third-placed Antoine Saout (374,700 chips) and fourth overnight Simon Ravnsbaek (370,800 chips).

When Day 3 of the Partouche Poker Tour starts today at the Palm Beach Casino in Cannes, the blinds will be 1,200/2,400 – ante 400 and the 121 players face another five 90-minute levels. Hopefully they will be able to focus on the poker today!

Partouche Poker Tour Main Event Chip Counts at End of Day 2

# Name Chips
1 Gaston Onana 412,000
2 Paul Tedeschi 384,200
3 Antoine Saout 374,700
4 Simon Ravnsbaek 370,800
5 Aaron Lim 348,100
6 David Williams 321,200
7 Kyle Julius 303,600
8 Karem Laouini 300,000
9 Max Greenwood 280,100
10 Harry Loria 266,900