EPT10 Vienna champion Oleksii Khoroshenin ended up on top of the counts with 208,000 after Day 1 of the 2017 PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino® €25,750 High Roller.
He was closely followed by Daniel Dvoress with 207,100, and the Canadian is enjoying an exceptional run at the French Riviera, already having final tabled no fewer than three high rollers in the span of one week and racked up an astonishing €1,584,800 in the process.
Day 1 was cut to seven levels of 60 minutes instead of the usual 10 levels in order to give all high-stakes regulars the chance to watch the upcoming semi-final of the Champions League here in the Principality of Monaco.
So far, 126 players entered and another 17 single re-entries were purchased to create a 143-entry strong field. However, registration remains open for another three levels on Day 2. Until then, hopefuls can join the action via either their first or second entry in order to take a shot at the guaranteed $1,000,000 first-place prize.
Furthermore, all remaining players at the start of level 11 will receive an additional time bank to give themselves an extra minute of consideration.
The High Roller field was filled with a ton of big names, many of which already had plenty of success at the international poker tables.
High Roller Top 10 Chip Counts Day 1
Other big stacks through to Day 2 include Max Silver (202,400), EPT11 Deauville High Roller champion Josip Simunic (195,500), Justin Bonomo (183,300), Julian Stuer (176,000), poker stalwart Erik Seidel (165,500), Charlie Carrel (143,000), Jimmy Guerrero (143,000), Byron Kaverman (130,200), Dan Colman (128,700), Ryan Riess (110,500) and Mustapha Kanit (101,800)
The PokerStars Team saw Daniel Negreanu (150,800), Felipe Ramos (100,200), Liv Boeree (95,800), Jason Mercier (91,100) and Igor Kurganov (71,000) advance. Only Vanessa Selbst failed to bag up chips after running her short stack with pocket nines into the pocket tens of Javier Gomez Zapatero.
Selbst can enter again on her second entry in the first three levels of Day 2 and the same applies for all that participated today and ran out of chips entirely.
Among those to buy in twice and bust as many times were Rocco Palumbo, Orpen Kisacikoglu, Jack Salter and Neel Murthy. Other notables that were eliminated include David Yan, Ramin Hajiyev, Fabrice Soulier, Jason Wheeler, Thiago Crema, Igor Yaroshevskyy, Salman Behbehani and Ihar Soika.
Silver already had almost four times the starting stack during the first two levels of the day, and the biggest pot came off a turned full house that got paid off by Eric Sfez with the nut flush. Julian Stuer joined the big stacks after sending Palumbo to the rail.
Palumbo four-bet preflop and then check-called a shove on a ten-high board with three clubs, holding ace-king only, to see Stuer turn over pocket aces. Kisacikoglu lost the first bullet with pocket queens against the pocket kings of Simunic after a jack-high flop, and Bryn Kenney ran with pocket kings into the pocket aces of Javier Gomez Zapatero.
More than one-third of the field has been eliminated thus far. The action will resume tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. local time and 10 levels of one hour each are tentatively scheduled for the second and penultimate day of the event.
The blinds will recommence at 500-1,000 with a running ante of 100, giving all new entrants in the first level of the day 50 big blinds worth. As usual, the PokerNews live reporting team will be on the floor to provide all the action.