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European Poker Tour San Remo Day 2 Update

Field Reduced to 124 Players in as Business End of EPT on Italian Riviera Approaches

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Jason MercierOn day two at the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour San Remo, 469 players took to the felt from a total of 1,178, and the tension could be cut with a knife. Players took shelter from the drizzly weather outside, and most came straight from the local pizzeria or gelateria for the start of a four-day-long battle to crown the penultimate EPT champion of season five.

Those a little short but still threatening at the start of play included Jason Mercier (pictured left), Andrea Benelli, Arnaud Mattern, John O'Shea, and Orjan Holt. Considering the chip leader Dragan Galic had more than 100,000 in chips, they had a lot of ground to make up, but anything could happen.

Other notable players sure to mix it up included Alessio Isaia, Isabelle Mercier, Jani Vilmunen, Joe Elpayaa, Juha Helppi, Marcel Luske, Marcin Horecki, Nasr el Nasr, Ramzi Jelassi, and Tristan Clemencon.

Last year's champion, Jason Mercier, busted in the first round of day two, as did Nico Behling. Elsewhere, David Saab acquired one player's chips with A-A vs. A-K early on to give himself a very playable stack, but he was eliminated around dinner break.

Young online pro Laurence "rivermanl" Houghton was busted out of the tournament early by the nut straight of Sami "LarsLuzak" Kelipuro.

Marcin Horecki doubled his chips early in the session, busting two players, while perennial EPT challenger Arnaud Mattern was short-stacked on just 11,000 in chips with the field falling under 400 players in the first hour.

Katja ThaterKatja Thater (pictured at right) and Peter Hedlund were also eliminated during the carnage of the mid session.

Thater pushed all in to a raise with two overcards and the nut-flush draw on the flop against Tristan Clemencon, but the Frenchman called with an up-and-down straight draw and hit one of his cards to pair on the turn, then took the pot convincingly when the lower end of his straight hit on the river.

Former EPT winner Pascal Perrault also hit the rail during the early evening, and later on, victims included Isabelle Mercier, Luca Pagano, and Marcel Luske.

The story of the day was undoubtedly the growing menace that was Croatian Dragan Galic, who was busting players for fun and putting some considerable distance between himself and his nearest challenger. It will remain to be seen if he can keep this pace up during day three.

At the end of play for the day the top 10 in chips were:

  1. Dragan Galic (Croatia) -- 552,900
  2. Constant Rijkenberg (Holland) -- 393,100
  3. Giuseppe Argento (Italy) -- 365,500
  4. Maurilio Mergiotti (Italy) -- 284,100
  5. Robert Flink (Sweden) -- 280,000
  6. Fitzgerald Urquhart (Canada) -- 252,700
  7. Francesco Santo Trimboli (Italy) -- 245,800
  8. Steven Silverman (USA) -- 226,400
  9. Fabio Mazzarello (Italy) -- 216,000
  10. Pietro Marras (Italy) -- 199,100

The bubble will burst today with player 113. The rest will all receive a minimum payment of €5,800, while the majority will have their eye on the top prize of €1.5 million.

Stay tuned to CardPlayer.com throughout the day as we bring you updates from all the action in San Remo.