The EPT Deauville High Roller saw records broken with 113 entries into the tournament so far in the form of 95 unique players and 18 re-entries. This number could climb even higher tomorrow with registration open until 15 minutes before the start of play at midday. However, it has already been a large increase on the 85-runner field that played in this same event 12 months ago.
After ten levels, just 53 players are remaining. Leading at the end of Day 1 is Marton Czuzcor with 274,600. The Hungarian battled with Italian GPI Player of the Year Dario Sammartino for the chip lead but came out on top thanks to a particularly large pot where he knocked out David Vamplew with aces vs kings. That was the second bullet for Vamplew, the first having gone the way of Lebanese player Albert Daher. Vamplew had put most of his chips in by the turn of the K-J-6-A board with Q-T but Daher's A-6 boated up on the river 6 when the remaining chips went in.
The Scottish pro was one of several former EPT Champions who went crashing out today. Team PokerStars Pros Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier and Jake Cody were both eliminated during the day. ElkY lost a coinflip holding sixes against Steve O'Dwyer's ace-jack while Cody was knocked out right at the end of the day when his jacks couldn't catch up with Julian Thomas' aces. This left Alex Kravchenko (84,600) as the sole representative of the Team Pros going into Day 2 though both of the others still have the chance to buy in before the start of play.
Other players who made it through included Rookie/Spanish Player of the Year, Adrian Mateos Diaz (236,600) as well as former EPT winners Toby Lewis, Davidi Kitai, Jannick Wrang, Kent Lundmark, Michael Tureniec and Kevin MacPhee. MacPhee is on his second bullet, the first was lost against wily Russian Konstantin Puchkov who flopped top set against MacPhee's middle set.
With over half the field eliminated inside ten levels, the bustouts came thick and fast. Niall Farrell was knocked out in one of the very first hands of the day after his opponent tried bluffing him on the flop in a four-bet pot only to backdoor into two pair. His opponent in that hand, Aleksandr Denisov, would not put the chips to good use as he was one of several players who fired two bullets unsuccessfully at this tournament. Others who also tried this included Pho Truong, Roger Hairabedian and Jean-Noel Thorel. Many though had seemingly decided to simply take a single shot like Anton Wigg or Ludovic Lacay – the Frenchman one of several victims of Dario Sammartino. However, it is very possible that they might see that half the field has already gone and decide to take a shot with a 50,000 chip stack (which would be worth 25BB's at the start of tomorrow).
The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be back at 12pm local time on Friday for the penultimate day of this tournament so stay tuned to find out who will be the next High Roller Champion of Deauville!