The 2014 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final kicked off in Monaco on today with Day 1 action from the €100,000 Super High Roller. Last year this very tournament attracted 41 unique entries that accounted for nine reentries, and this year the field was even larger as 48 different players generated 11 reentries to bring the total field up to 59. That number could go up as registration remains open until the start of Day 2.
Speaking of the second day of play, 37 players survived the night after eight one-hour levels of play, including Philipp Gruissem, who emerged as the chip leader with 1,038,000. Others who bagged up big stacks include Ping San Chan (938,000), Daniel Negreanu (915,000), and Ole Schemion (847,000).
"It's been really, really rough for me. I had some trouble to focus, I really had to drink a lot of coffee (laughs) but it helped," Gruissem told PokerNews at the conclusion of play. "Mike [McDonald] put me in a really tough spot, but I got it right this time and I'm really happy. Looking forward to tomorrow."
The first elimination of the day happened in Level 3 (800/1,600/200) on a flop when Vladimir Troyanovskiy checked and Sam Trickett bet 8,200. Troyanovskiy check-raised to 21,000 and Trickett made the call to see the on the turn. The Russian bet 27,000, Trickett again made the call, and the river was the . Troyanovskiy checked, and Trickett thought for a moment before moving all in. snap-called and tabled a flush with the , which bested Trickett's .
Upon seeing his opponent's cards, Trickett, slightly cross with himself, said, "That's what I thought you had. Then I went all in." Trickett exited the tournament floor and was not seen again on Day 1.
A little while later, Negreanu late registered the tournament, and in his very first hand, he eliminated fellow Team Pro Vanessa Selbst. Negreanu had made a straight on the river of an board with and Selbst ended up shoving with the . Selbst opted to reenter shortly thereafter.
Others who busted and reentered the event included Justin Bonomo, Chun Lei Zhou, Lo Shing Fung, Tobias Reinkemeier, Igor Kurganov, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Ivey, Max Altergott and Daniel Colman. Colman reentered twice and is the only player to have €300,000 invested in the tournament.
Meanwhile, a slew of players busted and opted not to reenter. In addition to Trickett, Steve O'Dwyer, Jonathan Duhamel, Elton Tsang, Mike Watson, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Senh Ung, Martin Finger, Dario Sammartino, and Patrik Antonius all fell and did not return. Of course all of them can fire another bullet before the start of Day 2, which some are expected to do.
As for Gruissem, he got a good deal of his chips in an interesting hand that took place in Level 5 (1,200/2,400/300). The PokerNews Live Reporting Team picked up the action on the river of a board, when “Philbort” bet 55,000 against Chun Lei Zhou, the latter having previously called bets on the flop and turn.
Zhou had been thinking for a minute before he moved all in for about 240,000 and Gruissem called instantly. Zhou looked sheepish as he turned over having tried to double-float the German. It wouldn't have mattered what he had though, Gruissem tabled for a Royal Flush.
"Yeah, I made a Royal Flush pretty early on and I got somebody to bluff me," Gruissem told PokerNews. "Well, that didn't work as you can imagine. Finally a Royal Flush got paid."
Day 2 action will get underway at Noon local time on Friday, and the plan will be to play down to the final table of eight. The final numbers and official payouts should become available shortly after the start of play, and of course the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will bring you them, as well as all the action, from the 2014 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller.
Until then, check out Jennifer Robles interview with the one and only Phil Ivey: