Day 1a of the 2011 PokerStars.com European Poker Tour London Main Event came to a close on Friday after a starting flight of 280 players hit the felt to kick off the action. At the end of the night, 162 of them remained with the official chip counts coming once all the bags have been tallied overnight.
Leading the charge after an amazing day of poker is Lukasz Golzyt with 211,600 in chips. Some of the other notable big stacks include Mustapha Kanit with 152,200, Umberto Vitagliano with 143,600, Raul Paez with 136,500, Lev Marymsky with 133,800 and Sandor Demjan with 121,100.
With a hefty field coming out for this first day of play, we unfortunately lost some important players to the game. Team PokerStars Pro John Duthie along with Guillaume Darcourt and Dave "Devil Fish" Ulliott all fell early on while 2011 World Series of Poker November Niner Phil Collins and Xuan Liu hit the rail a bit later in the day.
Of those advancing to Day 2 include Barry Greenstein with 73,500 in chips and the one and only Doyle Brunson, who bagged up 45,200 and is here in London for his first-ever EPT event. Jake Cody, Sebastian Ruthenberg, Nick Binger, Darren Elias, Arnaud Mattern, Mickey Petersen and Fatima Moreira De Melo are also moving on.
Both Greenstein and Brunson were the beneficiaries of sets of aces to land them some chips. Greenstein took his aces and put them against queens and jacks before coming out on top while Brunson won his hand with a set of bullets on the flop after firing out a single bet. Both hands were relatively easy wins for the two long-time professionals of the game. With Brunson new to the EPT felt, plenty of fans and players got an up-close of the "Godfather of Poker" and will have autographs and pictures to remember their moments by. Others, namely the players at Brunson's table, will have the unforgettable experience of playing with the game's great, win or lose.
Day 1b will commence tomorrow at noon. Just like today, the players will play eight levels without a dinner break, but 15-minute breaks coming after every two levels. You can expect the field tomorrow to soar past the 500-player mark in hopes of setting another record here in London. Be sure to head right back to PokerNews for all of the live coverage from the felt.