The opening day of the EPT Grand Final Main Event in Monaco was, if nothing else, a long one. It was much more than that for sure, but it was certainly long, as players gathered to start play at noon today and finished around midnight. The registration remained open for the entire duration of the eight 75-minute levels and the final number for Day 1A amounted to 214 entries; 106 of them will be returning for Day 2.
As expected, we’ve seen some of the biggest names in the poker world take their seats today, as the EPT Monaco Grand Final represents the culmination of the season. All of them came in with dreams of glory and looking to repeat the success of last year’s winner, Steve O’Dwyer. But tournaments can be a cruel form of poker as in the end there can only be one winner; the rest must fall, some sooner than others. Those who were eliminated today probably belong in the sooner category.
One of the names everybody’s eyes were fixed upon was certainly Victoria Coren–Mitchell. Vicky came to Monaco on the wings of her San Remo title only a couple of days ago making her the very first and only player to date to hold two EPT titles. Today, however, the cards were not very kind to her, as she busted rather quickly. She won’t be seizing her third EPT title just yet.
She was not alone in the company of elite bustouts, as many others finished their run today including Kevin MacPhee, Jake Cody, Isaac Haxton, Erik Seidel and Vanessa Selbst.
In order for these to bust, someone had to take their chips. Some of the beneficiaries, 117 of them exactly, have made it to the end of the day and bagged their chips awaiting the start of Day 2. Coming out on top was Samir Hadad, who managed to accumulate 178,000. On his heels is Talal Shakerchi with 159,500 and JC Alvarado is third in chips sitting on 145,000.
Other notables still in the running include Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari, who finished today with a stack of 57,800, Dominik Nitsche with the exact same chip count, Mike “Timex” McDonald bagged 50,700, and Alex Kravchenko with 37,700. Patrik Antonius is still in as well, but he finished the day as the super short-stack, with only 4,500 in chips, so he will have some work to do once he comes back to the table.
Although the buy-in for the Monaco Main Event was €10,600, the number of players who showed up to play today was by no means small and it has almost become the rule that Day 1B usually attracts a somewhat greater number of players. Play is scheduled to start at noon CET again and we are certain to see some more big names making their appearance.
The tourney has only just begun, but if today was any indicator, we will continue to see some exciting action going on at the tables. If the trend continues, there will be no lack of big hands either, as we’ve witnessed a straight flush and couple of quads in big confrontations on the green felt. Either way, we will be back tomorrow to bring you all the relevant updates about the biggest EPT Main Event of the Season as we are slowly moving towards crowning the new champion on May 2!