Chile’s Nicolas Yunis tops the leaderboard on 191,700 chips after the two opening-day flights of the PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final €10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event in Monte Carlo.
Yunis – who has started 2012 well with several final table appearances – didn’t blast his way to the top, however, instead displaying steady progress to gain his top position heading into Day 2 at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort.
Both opening days saw eight levels played, with Day 1b attracting 394 entrants while Day 1a pulled in 271 for a 665 total to create a prize pool of €6,650,000, which will be shared out among the leading 96 finishers.
However, the 229 survivors from Day 1b and 165 from Day 1a – to make a Day 2 total of 394 – will all be hoping to pocket the €1.5 million that is up for grabs for winning the season-ending tournament, although even 96th place will pick up €15,000.
Martin Kabrhel Leading Day 1A Survivor
The Czech Republic’s Martin Kabrhel topped the Day 1a leaderboard on 167,800, but that stack will only see him begin Day 2 in fourth place after Russian Ivan Kudriavtcev (186,200) and Spanish PokerStars qualifier Andoni Larrabe Sánchez (181,300) bagged more chips from Day 1b.
The top 10 starters for today’s Day 2 are completed by Frenchman Franck Blanc – not the Pixies frontman, by the way! – in fifth place on 160,800, Canadian PokerStars player David ‘Doc’ Sands (sixth on 160,300), Englishman John Eames (seventh on 157,200), Italian Alessio Isaia (eighth on 139,600), German PokerStars qualifier Malte Moennig (ninth on 136,900) and Austrian Andres Artinano (10th on 125,200).
However, numerous other big-name pros are situated just outside the top 10 and poised to make a challenge for the title, including the likes of Tristan Clemencon (121,100), Freddy Deeb (114,600), Jason Wheeler (112,900) and Tom Marchese (112,000).
Nacho Barbero is Foremost PokerStars Pro
The numerous Team PokerStars Pros entered enjoyed a mixed opening day, with Day 1b seeing Nacho Barbero (105,400), Dario Minieri (94,700), Pius Heinz (87,100), Ana Marquez (85,200), Humberto Brenes (77,700), Barry Greenstein (71,100), Max Martinez (63,400), Marcel Luske (63,200), Team PokerStars SportStar Fatima Moreira De Melo (61,500), Jason Mercier (52,200), Liv Boeree (44,900), Sandra Naujoks (37,100), Chris Moneymaker (24,000), Daniel Negreanu (22,400), Johnny Lodden (12,600) and Victor Ramdin (7,000) surviving.
However, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Eugene Katchalov, Jonathan Duhamel, Vicky Coren – who only just won the EPT Monte Carlo Heads-Up side event – David Williams and Lex Veldhuis were all eliminated, meaning they will now have to content themselves with trying to win one of the 36 sides events in Monaco.
Day 1b also saw Martin Finger (85,900), Noah Boeken (83,900), Annette Obrestad (82,400), the Grand Final’s Super High Roller champion Justin Bonomo (79,000), Team Everest Pro Fabrice Soulier (73,300), Sorel Mizzi (61,600), Bruno ‘Kool Shen’ Lopes (57,600), Erik Seidel (56,500), Maria Ho (55,500), Lock Pro Elite member Leo Margets (55,100), Stephen Chidwick (49,000), Erik Cajelais (45,300), Rupert Elder (36,100), Tobias Reinkemeier (35,625), Andrea Dato (30,700), Bryn Kenney (30,600), Samuel Chartier (18,400), Kevin MacPhee (16,800), Lock Pro Elite member Melanie Weisner (15,900), David Vamplew (15,500), Casey Kastle (10,600) and Anton Ionel (7,200) progress.
Boris Becker Misses Out On Day 2
But also missing out are players such as Team PokerStars SportStar Boris Becker, James Akenhead, Mark Teltscher, Olivier Busquet, Shaun Deeb and EPT Berlin main event winner Davidi Kitai.
Day 1a, meanwhile, saw more than a dozen Team PokerStars Pros in action, with Team Online’s Mickey Petersen performing the best to bag 98,800 chips. The other survivors were Ville Wahlbeck (61,700), Vanessa Selbst (54,900), Richard Toth (52,900), Pierre Neuville (51,100), Jude Ainsworth (41,000), George Danzer (31,200), Matthias De Meulder (23,900), Toni Judet (22,500), Joe Cada (17,000), Joao Nunes (14,000), and Team Online’s Anders Berg (31,800).
However, Luca Pagano, Alex Kravchenko, Jan Heitman and Arnaud Mattern all failed to make it to Day 2.
Phil Ivey Back For More Action
Eight-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Phil Ivey (72,000) was among the other notable survivors from Day 1a, as were Steve O’Dwyer (101,600), Scott Seiver (99,800), JP Kelly (83,700), Ondrej Vinklarek (83,200), Andrey Pateychuk (67,800), Adam Levy (66,800), Titan Poker Pro Sam Trickett (65,800), Rumen Nanev (51,300), Guillaume Darcourt (49,500), Marvin Rettenmaier (45,400), Nicolas Chouity (38,700), Dan Shak (33,200) and Jason Somerville (13,200).
Returning to the payouts, it seems pretty clear that – even with the enormous amounts of cash to be won – several factors have meant that this year’s field is about 21.5% down on the 848 who entered two years ago in Monte Carlo, while even last year’s event in Madrid attracted 686 entries (or approximately 3% more than 2012) – almost certainly proving that the varying tax laws within Europe and the fallout from Black Friday are still causing problems.
Top 10 Day 1 Chip Counts at the EPT Grand Final Main Event
1. Nick Yunis (Chile) – 191,700
2. Ivan Kudriavtcev (Russia) – 186,200
3. Andoni Larrabe Sánchez (UK) – 181,300
4. Martin Kabrhel (Czech Republic) – 167,800
5. Franck Blanc (France) – 160,800
6. David ‘Doc’ Sands (Canada) – 160,300
7. John Eames (UK) – 157,200
8. Alessio Isaia (Italy) – 139,600
9. Malte Moennig (Germany) – 136,900
10. Andres Artinano (Austria) – 125,200
Complete Payout List
- 1st, €1.5 million
- 2nd, €900,000
- 3rd, €545,000
- 4th, €400,000
- 5th, €315,000
- 6th, €245,000
- 7th, €185,000
- 8th, €130,000
- 9th-10th, €95,000
- 11th-12th, €70,000
- 13th-14th, €60,000
- 15th-16th, €50,000
- 17th-24th, €40,000
- 25th-32nd, €35,000
- 33rd-40th, €30,000
- 41st-48th, €25,000
- 49th-72nd, €20,000
- 73rd-96th, €15,000
Meanwhile, all you poker fanatics out there might want to tune into PokerStars.tv come next week for the climax to the main event. Monday’s broadcast of Day 5 of the $10,000 buy-in tournament will begin at 14:30 CET (Central European Time), as will the final table on Tuesday.
Additionally, the one-day €100,000 EPT Season 8 Tournament of Champions freeroll event will also be shown at 13:00 CET on Tuesday, with cards-up, on a one-hour delayed stream.
EPT Season 8 The Broadcast Times
Monday, April 30
14:30 CET, €10,000 buy-in Main Event Day 5
Tuesday May 1
13:00 CET, EPT Season 8 Tournament of Champions
14:30 CET, Main Event Final Table