Day 1b of the inaugural PokerStars.it EPT Campione Main Event saw a much more substantial crowd descend on the Casino di Campione; a total of 392 players to be exact. Amongst them were a whole host of British and Irish poker stars each hoping to make it through to today's Day 2 and we are pleased to announce that we have a total of nine heroes joining those from Day 1a, as they made it through the minefield that is Day 1.
The best placed of those from Day 1b and indeed from all British and Irish players is Alex "Cambridge Alex" Goulder who bagged up an impressive 101,000 chips at the end of the day. Goulder is a regular at the Dusk Till Dawn poke club in Nottingham where he can usually be found plying his trade at the cash game tables; that is when he is not winning the £1,000 Monte Carlo (July 2011) and finishing in fourth place in the same event in December last year!
Goulder took the British chip lead near the end of the tournament after David Vamplew lost 15,000 or so chips five-bet folding preflop. Vamplew, who won EPT London back in September 2010, ended the day with 100,100 chips and is most certainly one to look out for when play resumes at 14:00 today. It is far too early to be talking about potential double EPT winners but if he continues his form into today's play then it will be a subject impossible to avoid.
Joining Goulder and Vamplew in the mix for Day two are online poker legend Chris "Moorman1" Moorman (64,400), two former EPT San Remo winners in Liv Boeree (43,600) and Rupert Elder (39,900), former EPT Vilamoura champion Toby Lewis (26,800), Laurence "rivermanl" Houghton (18,500) and the short-stacked Craig McCorkell (5,400). The only one of our Irish contingent to make it through to the second day's play was Patrick Stephen and he will return to his seat today armed with 13,700 chips.
Four Brits who will not be in the mix are Antoni Romanello, Ashley Mason, Mathew Frankland and John Eames. Frankland had a tough starting table that was the home to Kevin Vandersmissen and Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov but he's not the type of player to let that faze him. He almost certainly would have made it through to Day 2 had his managed to stay in front of his opponent's (queen on the river) but they didn't so he isn't! Eames went out in a set-over-set situation though Eames told us later that if his opponent had played it properly then he almost certainly would not have gone broke, but he didn't and he did!
Play resumes at 14:00 CET and although the players and media are all hoping to leave early to go to the party it is actually quite unlikely. We spoke to the tournament director at breakfast and were told that tomorrow we have to play down to 24 players regardless so it makes sense to play a lot today, possibly six or seven 75-minute levels; so it could be a long, long day.
Do not forget you can follow the action as it unfolds over on our live reporting pages and we will have a British isles focussed recap of the action for you here tomorrow.
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