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Day 1 of the €10,300 High Roller from the European Poker Tour stop in Barcelona shocked everyone, but in one of the best ways possible.
The turnout for the event proved to be record-breaking. In fact, "record-breaking" might even be an understatement. The event absolutely demolished all previous records for a high roller event on the EPT, and there's still time for players to enter for the first time or fire off a second bullet if they lost out on the first — registration and reentry will be open until 15 minutes before the start of Day 2, which happens Tuesday at 12 p.m. local time.
At the end of play for the night, the tournament board read that there were 378 total entries. We'll have more information on the breakdown of the field in terms of unique players and number of reentries when registration closes tomorrow, but know that just under 200 players emerged from the wreckage on Day 1, and the field did nothing but deliver all day long.
The previous record for a €10,300 high roller on the EPT was 181 entries, coming from last season's Vienna stop that attracted 141 unique players and 40 reentries. At last season's PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, which was held back in January, the $25,500 High Roller drew 198 unique players with 49 reentries for a total of 247. That should help put into perspective just how big this event truly is.
Leading the way into Day 2 was Stephen Chidwick. He bagged up 299,000 in chips, but he's not alone with a big stack moving into the second day of play. Dan Smith (292,600) and Jason Mercier (291,400) are nipping at his heels, and then Alexander Roumeliotis (266,300), Niall Farrell (235,800), Fedor Holz (216,300), Steve O'Dwyer (213,400), and Vanessa Selbst (205,000) are all over 200,000 as well. If that's not an audience-grabbing list of notables topping the pack, then we don't know what is.
Thomas Muehloecker, the defending champion of this event, got off to an impressive start and bagged up 225,500. The man he had to beat heads up, Daniel Negreanu, didn't show up today and doesn't plan to, stating on EPT Live that he wasn't going to play and has other plans for tomorrow.
Needless to say, it was a very exciting day of poker, and there will be plenty more tomorrow on Day 2.
The action begins at 12 p.m. local time, and you can bet every last chip that PokerNews will be here grinding just as hard as the players on the felt in order to bring the coverage straight to your screens. Official chip counts will be posted once received from the tournament staff, and while you wait for Day 2, enjoy the following Ivey Stories video with a great tale from Joe Stapleton:
The official list with all the chip counts will follow later. A table draw is not expected to start of play tomorrow.
The players have finished play for the day and the survivors are bagging up their chips. A recap will be posted shortly.
Action folded to former European Poker Tour champion Salvatore Bonavena, and he raised to 3,500 from the cutoff seat. Marc Etienne McLaughlin reraised from the button to 8,600, and the two blinds got out of the way. Bonavena took a few moments, then reraised to 18,600. McLaughlin folded, and Bonavena showed him the .
The tournament staff announced that the tournament will play out four more hands at each table before bagging and tagging for the night.
From under the gun, Mammad Afandiyev raised to 3,500. Jason Mercier called from middle position, and then Mickey Petersen called from the big blind.
The flop came down , and action checked over to Mercier. He bet 5,100, and Petersen folded. Afandiyev called.
The turn was the , and both players checked to see the come in on the river to complete the board. Both players checked again.
Afandiyev showed the for a pair of queens, but Mercier had the and rivered a flush to win the pot.
On the board, Ole Schemion bet 10,500 into Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier. Mercier made the call, and the two witnessed the dealer land the on the river. Schemion checked, and Mercier opted to check behind.
Schemion tabled the for top pair with a queen kicker. Mercier showed the for top pair with a king kicker, and he was awarded the pot.
"Auf Wiedersehen!" laughed Martin Finger as he walked by us on his way to the exit. No further details than the fact we're pretty sure he wasn't just going out to get some fresh air. Finger eliminated, and by the looks of it he had already re entered today, so he won't be back.
Anatoly Filatov opened under the gun with a raise to 3,300, and Mike McDonald three bet from the small blind to 7,200. Filatov made the call, and they were heads up to the flop.
McDonald checked, and called after Filatov bet 5,800.
The turn brought the to the table and McDonald checked again. Filatov shoved for 17,100, and McDonald thought about it for some time. He had just 55,300 behind at this point, but eventually did risk 17,100 of it with .
McDonald was drawing dead with his ace eight, Filatov had for the set, and made a full house with the on the river.