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European Poker Tour Vienna -- Day 1A

PokerStars EPT Returns to Austria Bigger and Better; Field Cut in Half on Day 1A

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Day 1A Chip Leader Sergii Baronov. Credit: Neil Stoddart and PokerStarsThe PokerStars European Poker Tour has pulled into Vienna for its latest week of poker action on European felt.

This is not the first time however that the EPT has visited the Austrian capital, as way back in 2005 when the buy-in was €2,000, Frenchman Pascal Perrault beat 296 players to become the Tour’s sixth champion and take home €184,000.

Fifty-four champions later and the EPT has returned, this time to the Kursalon in Vienna’s City Park, a beautiful hall normally used for concerts and gala dinners. Day 1A kicked off there yesterday and the €5,300 buy-in EPT Vienna attracted 234 players on its first of two starting days.

The field was cut precisely in half by end of play and 117 survivors now enjoy a day off while day 1B determines who they will be sitting amongst tomorrow.

Among those holding the most chips by end of play were some interesting characters such as Team PokerStars Pro member Martin Hruby from the Czech Republic, British PokerStars qualifier Stephen Chidwick, and Romanian Mihai Manole. Ukrainian Sergii Baranov leads the way with 183,200 in chips.

Here are the top 10 in chips at end of day 1A:

Sergii Baranov (Ukraine) 183,200
Ramon Cserei (Romania) 168,300
Martin Hruby (Czech Republic) Team PokerStars Pro 159,000
Mihai Manole (Romania) 138,000
Mikhail Olegovich Ryabkov (Russia) PokerStars qualifier 136,800
Nikita Malinovskiy (Russia) 126,200
Stephen Chidwick (UK) PokerStars qualifier 124,400
Petre Ionescu (Romania) 123,600
Karonis Dimitrios (Greece) PokerStars qualifier 122,000
Wasi Akhund (Austria) 121,900

British Hendon Mobster Barny Boatman also has plenty of chips, as has Frenchman Nicolas Levi, EPT San Remo runner-up Jakob Karlsson, and 2006 EPT Grand Final champ Jeff Williams. Others still in with a shot are Jake Cody, EPT Barcelona runner-up Santiago Terrazas, Jan Skampa, Antony Lellouche, and Team PokerStars Pro players Lex Veldhuis, Michael Keiner, and the very short-stacked Ruben Visser.

Some big names to hit the rail throughout the day were Canadian Jeff Sarwer, Snowfest champion Allan Baekke, Marc Naalden, Dragan Galic, and Team PokerStars Pro members Marcin Horecki, Alexander Kravchenko, and Arnaud Mattern.

Check out the PokerStars blog feed as day 1B plays out today. Plus CardPlayer.com will be bringing you daily recaps of all the Austrian action.