One of the major stops on the poker calendar returned today after an absence of more than 18 months. The PokerStars.com EPT London came back to where the event all began as 236 players descended on The Vic Casino on Edgware Rd for Day 1a of the main event. There’s a whole host of tournaments taking place throughout this two-week poker festival but none shines brighter than this one.
After eight 75-minutes levels of play a familiar face from Season 9 tops the chip counts - Marc-Andre Ladouceur bagged up 163,500. Marvin Rettenmaier has earned the right over the last couple of years to be very confident at the table and this is fine unless you have a Québécois at your table. Players from this region of Canada have been dominating the EPT this season, whether it’s at the table or a nearby bar. Ladouceur had already won more than €300,000 on the tour this season and stormed his way through today. He was a raising machine that caused his table mates all kind of trouble.
Someone had to stand up to him and that person was the said German. To be fair, when Rettenmaier called all in after a Ladouceur river over-bet he did have a set but that was no match for Ladouceur who had turned a flush. That put the Canadian up to 170,000 (100,000 more than second placed player at the time) and from there on he steadied his ship to finish on 163,500
Another player to mention is Antonio Matias, who took down the Vilamoura leg in Season 6; he finished on 141,000 chips. Some of those chips came courtesy of Team PokerStars Pro Toni Judet. The man from Portugal was betting into Judet with a flush draw; he got there on the river and this is where Judet called all in, saw his opponent’s hand, mucked and left the room.
Those two players are well placed for a deep run and a shot of glory, as are: Timothy Davie (136,800), Michel Dattani (119,000), Pierre Neuville (83,200), Adria Balaguer (160,300) and Davide Suriano (130,800). Also back for Day 2 are: Luke Schwartz (66,000), Theo Jorgensen (65,500), Henrique Pinho (63,500), Marcin Horecki (57,000), Alex Kravchenko (52,200), Johnny Lodden (33,200) and Luca Pagano (30,600).
EPT London has seen luminaries such as Team PokerStars Pro Vicky Coren, Benny Spindler, Michael Martin and Aaron Gustavson claim this coveted title in the past. The latter of these was the only former champion playing today and he didn’t last as long as he would have liked. He got a lot of chips in on the turn when he had the nut straight only for the board to pair up for a player holding a set.
Coren was too busy cashing in the UKIPT High Roller to play today but the fairer sex was very well represented by her fellow Team Pros Vanessa Selbst (54,800), Liv Boeree (56,100), Leo Margets (57,000) as well as Annette Obrestad (84,100) who all made it through to day 2. Selbst might have set a live VPIP record today as she seemed to be in every pot for a period. Her stack fluctuated a lot but never to a critical point. Boeree felt like she was back on form today; Margets she was stuck in the corner all day and managed to navigate the mine field that is Mario Adinolfi; while Obrestad saw off the challenge old-timers such as Barny Boatman and Steve Jelinek to cruise through.
Those who also busted today included: Dominik Nitsche, Ari Engel, Sam Holden, Wojceich Barzantny, Max Silver, Kent Lundmark, Paul Foltyn, Chris Bjorin, Andrew Teng, Ville Wahlbeck and Scott Seiver.
Today is a new day though and a whole new bunch of players will arrive to keep us all entertained. Actually there’s going to be more than a bunch, way more. The Vic will be bursting at the seams as it tries to squeeze a number that will probably be double of today. Where they are going to fit is anyone’s guess! Play will get under way at 12:00 PM GMT and eight more 75-minute levels will be played before all remaining players join forces for Day 2 on Wednesday.
EPT London Main Event Day 1A End of Day Chip Counts