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Huge Field Turns Out For 2012 PaddyPowerPoker Irish Open: Sam Chartier Leads

Sam Chartier

The 2012 PaddyPowerPoker Irish Open kicked off yesterday and a massive field of 502 players paid the €3,500 required to enter creating a prize pool of €1,604,400 and a first place prize of €420,000.

The longest-running poker tournament in European, and the second in the world behind the World Series of Poker Main Event, the Irish Open is steeped in history and always attracts some of the biggest names in the business and this year has been no different. Amongst the 502 starters were no fewer than five former WSOP Main Event winners in the shape of Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel, Phil Hellmuth, Carlos Mortensen, Dan Harrington and Noel Furlong. By the time play came to a close Harrington and Duhamel had busted out.

In fact nearly half of the field were eliminated during the course of Day 1 as only 281 of them made it through to the end of play with chips left to bag up. The man everyone has to catch is Canada's Sam Chartier who bagged and tagged a tournament leading 136,800 chips but he still has a star-studded field to navigate through when play resumes today.

Hot on Chartier's heels are the likes of Kevin Vandersmissen (110.825), another Team PokerStars Pro in Arnaud Mattern (97,375) whilst Tobias Reinkemeier, JP Kelly and Eoghan O'Dea all return to the Burlington Hotel in Dublin today with hopes of making it through to Day 3.

With so many familiar faces in the field Day 2 has thrown up some interesting tables to say the least. Table 2 will start off as the home to a former Sunday Million winner Daniel Smyth, former Irish Open champion Neil Channing, Adam "Roothlus" Levy and snooker ace Ken Doherty, whilst Table four pits Ross Boatman and Victor Ramdin next to each other. Head to Table 6 and you will find Tom "hitthehole" Middleton, Jack Ellwood and Hellmuth sat together, whilst Table 12 has the aggressive duo of PartyPoker Pro Ian Frazer and Shaun "Not Freddy" Deeb and Table 15 is the home to Xuan Liu, Dara O'Kearney, Jude Ainsworth and Byron Kaverman!

As you can see there are names everywhere and that should make Day 2 a very interesting prospect indeed. Follow the action over on the PaddyPowerPoker blog and come back here tomorrow for a recap of the action.

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