It didn’t really matter that the actual buy-in was a staggering €100,000 – everybody wanted in. And it all started after a group of Macau businessmen and high-stakes players decided to join the action.
Because of them, the European Poker Tour Monte Carlo Grand Final Super High Roller entered the history books as the EPT SHR event with the most unique entries ever (48). Also, the total entries of 59 marked another historic chapter by making the Principality of Monaco the host for the biggest European SHR ever. And the registration isn’t even closed.
Players will have one more shot until the start of Day 2 to enter the tournament and play for a gigantic prize pool. They will also have the opportunity to measure their poker strength with the 38 super high rollers who survived Day 1 and head full-steam to the second day of the big event.
The leader of those 38 is German Philipp Gruissem, who has in front of him a stack of over 1,000,000 chips. He stole the lead from Season 10 EPT Player of the Year favorite Ole Schemion right at the death.
Gruissem had his fair share of problems before taking the lead when he lost two big pots to Mike McDonald. In one of them, the German raised a bet on a board showing #7s#jc#jd#3s only to see that McDonald had trips. But this wasn’t the highlight of the day.
The highlight of the day involved him and a Macau-based gambler. Gruissem started the action open-raising preflop and three-barreling on a #js#as#9c#kc#10s board. Chun Lei Zhou called until the river. When the German fired a 55,000 river bet, Zhou thought for a minute and raised all-in for 240,000. The high roller specialist quickly called showing #ks#qs for the royal flush. On the other hand, Zhou showed #6d#4d for the big bluff.
“You said he’s a nit!” Gruissem complained to Phil Ivey, one of the regulars of the Macau high-stakes cash games. “I was joking,” Ivey responded, according to PokerStars Blog.
The fun continued for both the professionals and the Macau-based gamblers. After trying to lift the spirits of one of the Asian super high rollers, John Juanda lured him into taking on an off-the-felt bet. The stakes? Apparently HK$5 million or around €465,000. What was the bet about? One year of not smoking. “Let’s talk about it in the break, the terms and stuff,” Juanda said after the Asian player agreed.
Daniel Negreanu was another player who had his fun at the poker table in the first day of the SHR. In his very first hand of the tournament, he eliminated Vanessa Selbst by catching a straight on the river. “No man goes for more straights than me,” Negreanu said a while later after upsetting Fabian Quoss in a big pot for yet another connecting board.
Kid Poker finished the day third in chips and is looking for more tomorrow.
Others like Patrik Antonius, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Steve O’Dwyer, Mike Watson, Jonathan Duhamel, Elton Tsang, and Sam Trickett weren’t so lucky and busted out of the event. They still have a chance to follow in the footsteps of Phil Ivey, Antonio Esfandiari or Vanessa Selbst and rebuy for yet another €100,000.
They will have until noon tomorrow local time to do that. Will they reach for another bullet? Stick around and check PokerUpdate regularly to find out the outcome.