The field topped out at 392, with 215 runners taking the field on Day 1b of the PokerStars European Poker Tour London Main Event at the Vic Casino yesterday. The 392 players dropped L5,200 each to build a prize pool of over L2 Million, with a L116,520 first place prize.
The starters on Day 1b included stars from around the world like Daniel Negreanu, Liz Lieu, Patrik Antonius, Steve Z and Juha Helppi. Helppi was the first player eliminated when his Aces were cracked by Queens in the first couple of hands, and he went to the rail before he even got his seat warm.
Daniel Negreanu joined Team PokerStars cohort Chris Moneymaker in riding a chip rollercoaster on his Day 1. Negreanu doubled up very early in the day when he rivered a straight flush after getting all his chips in on the turn when the board read . Negreanu caught the on the river, and tabled for the stone cold nuts. After spending most of the afternoon at the Vic's version of the Table of Doom, sharing the felt with card sharks like Lieu, Trevor Reardon, and Roland De Wolfe, Negreanu finished Day 1b with a slightly below-average stack.
Mel Judah brought even more star power to the Table of Doom when he joined midway through the day, and immediately found himself in a big pot with Liz Lieu. After action preflop and on the flop, Lieu shoved all in on the turn with the board reading , and Judah went into the tank for a long moment before folding.
Among the notable eliminations on Day 1b were Noah Boeken, Ram Vaswani, Joe Beevers and Max ‘The Italian Pirate' Pescatori. Pescatori jammed everything he had with , but his opponent hit a two-outer with to put Pescatori out. The final board of meant that the Italian Pirate was done pillaging for the day. Steve Brecher was one of the last eliminations on Day 1b, heading to the rail when he lost a coin flip with Jacks against his opponent's . The on the river washed away Brecher's dreams of EPT London glory.
When the dust settled and the chips were bagged, there were 90 players left from Day 1b. including De Wolfe, Lieu, Erik Friberg, Alan Smurfit and Surinder Sunar. They all finished up the night chasing Anthony Phillips, who had the chip lead and will go into Day 2 third in chips behind Nicolas Levi and Daniel Mangas, who both ended Day 1a with big stacks.