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EPT -- Grand Final Day 1B

A Huge Second Flight Grows the Field to 935


Day 1B at the PokerStars European Poker Tour Grand Final attracted a much larger group of players than day 1A. A group of 539 players swelled the tournament room in Monte Carlo, making the total field an impressive 935 players. At €10,000 a seat, a massive first-place prize awaits the eventual champion in a few days time. Official prize pool information had not been announced at press time, but estimates put the top prize at €2.5 million.

Glen Chorny with Grand Final TrophyOne player who won’t be able to claim that huge prize is defending EPT Grand Final champion Glen Chorny. He busted halfway through the day. Many other players joined him on the rail as the field shrank from 539 down to 322 by the end of the eighth level. Notable eliminations include: Nelly, Team PokerStars pro Gavin Griffin, Gus Hansen, David Steicke, Chris Bjorin, Julian Thew, Jeff Madsen, Max Pescatori, Evelyn Ng, Dan Shak, Joe Elpayaa, Juha Helppi, Thomas Wahlroos, John Juanda, Neil Channing, Amit Makhija, Alexander Kostritsyn, Dave Ulliott, Team PokerStars pro Katja Thater, Thierry Van Den Berg, and Carlos Mortensen.

The majority of the pros advanced to day 2, which will take place tomorrow. This was fitting, considering that the second day-one flight had one of the most stacked fields of the year on display. Day 2 begins tomorrow at noon CEST (3 a.m. PDT) tomorrow, and you can follow along with all of the action on in live updates, chip counts, and photos. Here is an approximate look at the chip leaders at the end of day 1B:

Ami Barer: 205,000

Dagomir Palovic: 175,000

David Williams: 140,000

Samuel Chartier: 135,000

Nenad Medic: 110,000

Yevgeniy Timoshenko: 105,000

Sandra Naujoks: 100,000

Johannes Strassman: 98,000

Casey Kastle: 96,750

Noah Schwartz: 85,000

Here are the official top 10 chip leaders from day 1A:

Lee Nelson New Zealand Team PokerStars Pro 253600
Luca Pagano Italy Team PokerStars Pro 169600
Anthony Donald Venturini USA PokerStars player 160000
Thiago Nishijima Brazil   159000
Faraz Jaka USA PokerStars player 155900
Michael Tureniec Sweden   146600
Diaz Gilbar     141900
Sami Kelopuro Finland   133500
Andrey Zaichenko Russia   131300
Stephen Haughey UK PokerStars Qualifier 12440

Here is a look at the highlights from day 1B as featured in’s live updates:

Amit MakhijaAmit Makhija Eliminated

Amit Makhija raises to 550 preflop, and two players made the call. The flop falls J 9 7, and Makhija bets 1,000 under the gun. Seat 4 raises to 2,000 right behind him, and seat 2 folds. Makhija reraises all in, and his opponent makes the call. Their cards:

Makhija: 10 10

Seat 4: K K

Turn and River: 6 and 2

Makhija is eliminated on the hand.

Thierry Van Den Berg Eliminated

The tournament has lost another character — Dutchman Thierry Van Den Berg was at the wrong end of two bad beats and is the latest player to hit the rail.

In the first hand that led to his demise, Van Den Berg held pocket queens, and his opponent held A-K. An ace fell on the flop, and Van Den Berg had a pretty big bite taken out of his stack.

On the last hand he held pocket queens again, and this time they were up against A-Q. The board fell J-10-6-K-3, and Van Den Berg was eliminated by a Broadway straight. He was understandably upset after the second hand took place and stormed from the tournament area.

David WilliamsDavid Williams Looks Flushed on the River

On a J 2 4 board, there is around 12,000 in the pot. The turn comes the 7, and David Williams, sitting calmly with his aviators and poker face on, bets out 6,900 from the small blind. His opponent, in late position, takes off his headphones and puts his sunglasses on his head. He then calls.

The river is the J, and Williams bets 26,000, covering his opponent. The player goes into the tank, and when he comes out, he looks straight at Williams, then at the pot, and flings all of his chips over the line. Williams doesn’t show any emotion and swiftly flips over A K for the nut flush, made on the river. His opponent reveals pocket nines, stares at the board, exhales deeply, and prepares to make his exit.

Williams rakes in the chips.

Vanessa RoussoRousso vs. Chorny

On a flop of J 10 2, Vanessa Rousso bets 1,825 from the cutoff, and Glen Chorny calls on the button. The turn brings the 6, and Rousso bets 4,500. Chrony raises all in to 15,700, and Rousso takes off her headphones. She then goes into the tank for a few minutes while weighing her options. She eventually mucks her hand. Chorny wins the hand to bring his stack back up to even during his EPT Grand Final title defense.

Nelly Out

Nelly has created quite a stir in his short time here in Monte Carlo. He played in the Ante Up for Africa charity tournament and he has also been a regular at the high-stakes cash games that have taken pace every night at the Sun Casino in the Fairmont Hotel. His stay on day 1B of the Grand Final was rather short-lived, though. He busted in just 30 minutes of play when his A-10 was coolered by the A-K of Andrew Feldman. Nelly was immediately swamped for interviews upon his bustout, while his two body guards gave him some good-natured ribbing for how quickly he was knocked out.