Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments Casino News Sports Betting Poker Strategy EPT Grand Final Day 2

Mayhem and Madness Reign on a High-Speed Day of Play


Monte Carlo is a place synonymous with speed; it hosts multiple grand prix races throughout the year, and Ferraris, Aston martins, and Lamborghinis speed erratically down the winding streets that line the hills of Monaco daily. This need for speed transferred over to day 2 of the European Poker Tour Grand Final. The returning field of 382 players was more than chopped in half over the course of the day, and when the tournament clock expired at the end of the night, 129 players remained.

Monte Carlo is also a place synonymous with extravagant wealth as well. The Grand Casino just a mile away attracts some of the largest whales on the planet, and thousands of dollars, if not millions, are up for grabs nightly. Here in the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Casino Resort there will also be millions up for grabs. Over $3 million, in fact -- the richest first-place prize in European tournament poker history, as well as the largest tournament poker prize ever awarded outside of Las Vegas. The winner in Monaco will walk away with the equivalent of $3,193,822 in prize money, based on current exchange rates.

Joe HachemThe tournament raced off the starting line and never looked back, as dozens of players busted out during every level consistently throughout the day. Those lost in the mayhem and madness included: Gus Hansen, Patrik Antonius, EPT San Remo winner Jason Mercier, Ross Boatman, Thierry van den Berg, Martin Wendt, Thomas Wahlroos, Michael “Timex” Mcdonald, Bill Edler, Josh Arieh, David Redlin, and Adam Levy. This chaos was also rough for multiple Team PokerStars Pros who also busted during the course of the day, they included: Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Chad Brown, Vanessa Rousso, Victor Ramdin, Humberto Brenes, and Noah Boeken.
One member from team PokerStars, Hachem, made a very strong showing throughout day 2, despite his seat at a tough table for most of the day. The former world champion was surrounded by fellow Team PokerStars Pro, Luca Pagano, Surinder Sunar, and Anna Wroblewski, but this did not stop him from accumulating one of the largest stacks in play at the end of the evening. Hachem will start day 3 with around 260,000.
Oyvind Riisem
The professional player who dominated throughout day 2 was Johnny Lodden. His large stack was a constant presence on top of the leader board today, and he used aggressive betting to build it higher and higher to keep pace ahead of the field. Lodden ended the day with 320,000. Both of these players were surpassed by Oyvind Riisem during the last part of the day. The young Norwegian built a monumental stack worth 411,000. Only a handful of players in the field possessed what Riisem held in one stack of 40 -- 5,000 brown chips. Riisem is no stranger to what it takes to make a final table in Europe; he finished in fourth place at the inaugural World Series of Poker Europe main event last fall (where he took home over $500,000).
We will see if Riisem can continue his march to the final eight along with the rest of the field tomorrow, when play begins at 1 p.m. CET (7 a.m. ET). Also returning tomorrow will be Team Pros Hachem, Pagano, and Raymond Rahme, as well as Marcel Luske, Sorel Mizzi, Freddy Deeb, Isaac Baron, Esfandiari, Wroblewski, Sunar, Ted Lawson, Alex Kravchenko, Eli Elezra, and Mel Judah. Card Player’s tournament reporting team will be here to bring you all of the action wire-to-wire from Monte Carlo in live updates, chip counts, tournament photos, and videos. The top 80 players will get paid here in Monaco, and the way things went today the money bubble should burst during the first half of play tomorrow. Fast times in Monte Carlo.

Here are some of the top chip counts before media was dismissed from the tournament area:

  1. Oyvind Riisem -- 411,000
  2. Joe Hachem -- 330,000
  3. Johnny Lodden -- 320,000
  4. Amit Makhija -- 220,000
  5. James Campbell -- 165,000
  6. Eric Liu -- 160,000
  7. Woody Deck -- 160,000
  8. Sorel Mizzi -- 160,000
  9. Freddy Deeb -- 156,000
  10. Isaac Baron -- 140,000

UPDATE: Official top 10 chip counts at end of play:

  1. Oyvind Riisem -- 441,400
  2. Johnny Lodden -- 380,300
  3. Borge Dypvik -- 380,300
  4. Andreas Hagen -- 276,800
  5. Joe Hachem -- 255,30
  6. James Campbell -- 241,700
  7. Luca Pagano -- 229,000
  8. Amit Makjiha -- 219,100
  9. Andreas Fluri -- 205,900
  10. Sorel Mizzi -- 203,200