Day 1 of the €10,300 High Roller from the European Poker Tour stop in Barcelona shocked everyone, but in one of the best ways possible.
The turnout for the event proved to be record-breaking. In fact, "record-breaking" might even be an understatement. The event absolutely demolished all previous records for a high roller event on the EPT, and there's still time for players to enter for the first time or fire off a second bullet if they lost out on the first — registration and re-entry will be open until 15 minutes before the start of Day 2, which happens Tuesday at 12 p.m. local time.
At the end of play for the night, the tournament board read that there were 378 total entries. We'll have more information on the breakdown of the field in terms of unique players and number of re-entries when registration closes tomorrow, but know that just under 200 players emerged from the wreckage on Day 1, and the field did nothing but deliver all day long.
The previous record for a €10,300 high roller on the EPT was 181 entries, coming from last season's Vienna stop that attracted 141 unique players and 40 re-entries. At last season's PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, which was held back in January, the $25,500 High Roller drew 198 unique players with 49 re-entries for a total of 247. That should help put into perspective just how big this event truly is.
Leading the way into Day 2 was Stephen Chidwick. He bagged up 299,000 in chips, but he's not alone with a big stack moving into the second day of play. Dan Smith (292,600) and Jason Mercier (291,400) are nipping at his heels, and then Alexander Roumeliotis (266,300), Niall Farrell (235,800), Fedor Holz (216,300), Steve O'Dwyer (213,400), and Vanessa Selbst (205,000) are all over 200,000 as well. If that's not an audience-grabbing list of notables topping the pack, then we don't know what is.
One of the hands that helped Chidwick amass his stack was when he busted Tobias Reinkemeier in Level 7 with the blinds at 400/800/100. The two got all the money in on a board of with Chidwick's up against Reinkemeier's . The river was the to miss Reinkemeier and send him off to fire a second bullet.
Thomas Muehloecker, the defending champion of this event, got off to an impressive start and bagged up 225,500. The man he had to beat heads up, Daniel Negreanu, didn't show up today and doesn't plan to, stating on EPT Live that he wasn't going to play and has other plans for tomorrow.
Needless to say, it was a very exciting day of poker, and there will be plenty more tomorrow on Day 2.
The action begins at 12 p.m. local time, and you can bet every last chip that PokerNews will be here grinding just as hard as the players on the felt in order to bring the coverage straight to your screens.
In the meantime, enjoy the following video with Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier discussing his early years on the scene: