Day 1b of the 2011 PokerStars.com European Poker Tour London Main Event completed on Saturday after the second and final starting flight completed their first eight levels of play. Leading the way at the end of the day was Benny Spindler with 160,800 in chips. From the 411 players that came out for Day 1b, 255 will be moving on to Day 2.
Spindler received a lot of his chips from Nicolas Levi. After a raise to 1,350 preflop from an unknown player with the blinds at 300-600 with a 75 ante, Levi reraised to 3,400. Spinder four-bet to 10,000 and the original raiser got out of the way. Levi moved all in for approximately 40,000 and Spindler immediately called. Spindler tabled the and was up against Levi's . The flop, turn and river ran out and Spindler's aces were able to fade Levi's big flop.
Although last year's record of 848 players wasn't broken, 691 for this year isn't a bad number at all. A prize pool of £3,351,350 was created with first place being awarded a whopping £750,000. The top 104 places will be paid out.
Packed into the field on Saturday were plenty of big names including Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Selbst, Jason Mercier, Joe Hachem, Angel Guillen, Victor Ramdin and David Williams. Negreanu and Selbst were eliminated on the day, while the other players named will be moving on. Mercier wrapped up the day with 99,200 in chips and wrote on his bag "Future EPT London Champion". Whether or not that means this year is still yet to be determined.
Mercier just saw his stack take a giant leap to over 100,000 in chips after Anrei One gifted him about 45,000 in chips. During the 250-500 with a 50 ante level, One raised to 1,100 and Mercier three-bet to 2,725. One then four-bet to 6,200 and Mercier five-bet to 12,050. One still wasn't convinced and moved all in for about 45,000.
"I beat him into the pot," said Mercier describing his call.
Mercier held offsuit and One held . The flop came down with two clubs and one spade before a was added on the turn and a on the river.
Other notable eliminations that occurred on Day 1b included Ross Boatman, Bill Chen, Eddy Sabat, Jean-Robert Bellande, Daniel Cates, Liv Boeree, Bertrand Grospellier and Leo Fernandez.
Some of those moving on with some heavy chip bags are Raj Vohra (156,600), Steven Warburton (142,300), Martins Adeniya (132,500), Sorel Mizzi (129,100), Justin Bonomo (126,100) and Wade Townsend (119,800).
Day 2 will commence tomorrow at 1200 BST where the remaining players from both starting flights will combine. Lukasz Golczyk is the overall chip leader with 211,600 in chips after a great performance on Day 1a. The total number of remaining players is 417. Be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for all of the live coverage starting then.