Play got under way in the 2015 PokerStars.com European Poker Tour (EPT) Malta Main Event on Sunday, the first-ever EPT Main Event to be held on the picturesque Mediterranean island. A total of 260 players chose Day 1a to begin their EPT quest and after eight 75-minute levels only 153 of those managed to progress to Day 2.
One of those who made it through Day 1a unscathed was Ireland’s John O’Shea, a regular in the biggest games in Europe. O’Shea has more than $1 million in live tournament winnings to his name despite only banking two six-figure scores – the larger of those two topped the scales at $199,888 which O’Shea was awarded for finishing sixth in the 2010 World Poker Tour (WPT) Five Star World Poker Classic.
The popular Irish grinder finished the night with 114,200 chips to bag enough and that stack should be enough to see O’Shea’s name in the top 10 of the overnight chip counts.
Winning the fictional award for the best placed Englishman is Simon Higgins who bagged up a most respectable 96,700 chips at the close of play. Like O’Shea, Higgins is a familiar face on the EPTs and it is this tour where the bulk of Higgins’ $820,000 live tournament winnings stem from, proving he can mix it up with the best in the world.
Other British players to secure a seat to Day 2 include Jack Salter (73,600), Ryan Spittles (68,700), Eli Heath (36,700), and Senh Man Ung (20,800), while the likes of Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree, Barny Boatman, Paul Newey, Ben Warrington, Stephen Chidwick, Charlie Carrel and Simon Deadman will have to make do with the plethora of side events because they fell by the wayside during Day 1a’s proceedings.
The name at the top of the chip counts is Greece’s Evangelos Tsairis who accumulated 180,300 chips. Tsairis finished 18th at EPT Deauville in January and has done his chances of a repeat performance no harm at all.
Other notables to look out for on Day 2 include Ignat “0Human0” Liviu (161,900), Alec Torelli (133,100), Thomas Muehloecker (121,200), Team PokerStars Pros Jan Heithmann (75,600), Marcin Horecki (66,400), and Theo Jorgensen (52,900), Dominik Panka (66,700), Matas Cimbolas (63,000), Marko Neumann (57,800), Fabrice Soulier (55,000), Simon Ravnsbaek (47,000), Jorryt van Hoof (46,000), Ruben Visser (44,600), Ole Schemion (36,200), and Sam Greenwood (25,600).
Day 1b kicks off at noon local time and those competing will do so over eight 75-minute levels. Tune into the UK & Ireland PokerNews Live Reporting pages so you can rail your heroes and anti-sweat those they are playing against!