A huge field of over 440 players descended into rainy London this Monday as the Day 1b field was almost double the size of the first start. This means that even before the final number of players has been tallied, this is the biggest EPT London Main Event since 2011, although it has also been helped by the reduction of the buy-in from £5,000 to £4,000 in an effort to keep parity with the other EPTs.
At the end of eight 75-minute levels, Georgios Zisimopoulos finished the day as the chip leader with 171,500 in chips, ahead of Leo Nordin (169,100) and Nicolas Chouity (152,700). The Greek player made a late charge at the end of the day to eclipse Nordin, with the latter having been chip leader for most of the day after knocking a player out within 10 minutes of the start of play.
Yesterday saw every single member of Team PokerStars Pro that played make it through into Day 2, and the hope had been that many more would be joining them through today. In fact, for the second consecutive day every Team Pro made it into Day 2.
Former EPT Sanremo champion Liv Boeree finished with 102,400 after winning a huge four-bet pot early on. The only two-time EPT winner Victoria Coren Mitchell (115,000) also had a profitable day, winning several pots against the talented Ole Schemion. This allowed her to breeze through the later levels without much difficulty. Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (147,900) and Theo Jorgensen (87,800) also made it through.
PokerStars Team Online saw Vicente Delgado fall, but both Marc-Andre Ladouceur (80,300), Mickey Petersen (83,100), and Mikhail Shalamov (14,300) advanced, while PokerStars' Mind Sport Ambassador, Jennifer Shahade (67,300), also reached Day 2.
Other notables surviving included former champions Fredrik Jensen and Davidi Kitai, while last year's champion Robin Ylitalo made it through with 22,200 after entering the tournament in Level 6. Also through was Leo McClean, last year's Cinderella story. The Englishman had qualified for just £82, which he turned into a cool quarter of a million pounds after he finished third on the final table. He ended Day 1b this year on 48,500, and will be no doubt hoping for a repeat performance.
Not everyone faired quite so well. Olivier Busquet, who won the £2,000 UKIPT High Roller last night for £107,000, busted just after the dinner break in the EPT London Main Event, but he will be eyeing up the £10,000 High Roller that starts on Thursday. Others who failed to make it included Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott, David Peters, Ludovic Geilich, Griffin Benger, Philipp Gruissem, Bryn Kenney, Tom Middleton, and Martin Finger.
On Tuesday, all surviving players will return at midday as this tournament continues with six 75-minute levels. No dinner break is expected, so be sure to join the PokerNews Live Reporting team for continued, nonstop coverage as EPT London continues on towards a champion.