On Sunday, the second start day of the European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final got underway. There were 384 runners who all turned up and registered at the Gran Casino in Madrid for the €10,000 buy-in tournament. In total, the combined starting fields means there is 686 players competing for the €1,5 million first place prize.
This EPT event is renowned for hosting a tough field, consisting of high rollers and highly talented poker pros from both the live and online poker circuit. Among the notable players who could be seen on the felt on Day 1b were Joe Hachem, Vanessa Rousso, Daniel Negreanu, and David Williams, however none of these players could survive the day.
It took the majority of Day 1b to separate the field with notable big stacks heading into Day 2. Eventually it was forthcoming, and the chip leader at the end of Day 1b was Ole Kristian Nergard, finishing the day with a total of 198,200 chips. Team PokerStars Pro’s Mattias Bergstrom and Ivan Demidov also finished at the top of the leaderboard with 198,000 and 197,800 in chips, respectively. Many players will recognize Demidov after he burst onto the scene with a runner-up finish at the WSOP Main Event in 2008. One of the Godfathers of British Poker, Surinder Sunar, managed to make a surge during the last levels of Day 1b to end the day sixth in chips with 179,200.
Some notable players who weren’t as lucky on Day 1b included Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, Vicky Coren, Per Linde, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier and Luca Pagano. Although “ElkY” can’t be very disappointed with the result as he just won the EPT Grand Final in Madrid for €525,000!
Former EPT champions Salvatore Bonavena, Roberto Romanello, and Max Lykov also did not make it to the end of day’s play, however they can look forward to the Champion of Champions Event, which will start the end of this week.
The survivors from Day 1a and Day 1b will come back under the same roof on Monday when Day 2 action will commence and the field will be reduced down even further.
Here are the top ten chip counts at the end of EPT Grand Final Day 1b’s play:
1. Oleg-Kristian Nergard – 198,200
2. Matthias Bergstrom – 198,000
3. Ivan Demidov – 197,800
4. Jean Noel Thorel – 180,300
5. Surinder Sunar – 179,200
6. Gerardo Godinez – 158,400
7. Andras Koroknai – 146,700
8. Gregory Brooks – 141,400
9. Santiago Terrazas – 139,800
10. Anton Ionel – 137,700