The PokerStars European Poker Tour Dublin E8,000 Championship kicked off yesterday with 89 runners at the Royal Dublin Society, including top Irish pros like Conor Doyle and Andy Black. The local favorites were joined by top American and European players like Erik Seidel, Brandon Schaefer, Bertrand ‘ElkY' Grospellier, Julian Thew and Dario Minieri.
While most players were still settling in around their tables, Malmai Csaba doubled up early when his Aces held up against his opponent's pocket Queens. By the end of the first hand, Csaba had doubled up, and his opponent headed to the rail. Csaba's early big pot allowed him to wield the big stack early and hold on to his chips to finish Day 1a near the top of the leaderboard.
The early rounds were less kind to Dario Minieri, who went to the rail early when he pushed his last few chips into the middle with and found one caller in Jan Sjalvik, who held . The first card off the flop was the , and no running tens for Minieri sent the young Team PokerStars player to the rail. He was joined at the cash tables later by fellow Team PokerStars player Bertrand ‘ElkY' Grospellier, who also busted on Day 1a.
Local favorite Joe Raffery finished 4th in the 2005 EPT Dublin event, but when he ran into pocket Jacks early, his final table hopes for 2007 were dashed. Eight time WSOP Champion Erik Seidel was looking for his first EPT Dublin win early on, but he ran into Stig Top Rasmussen's and busted before play drew to a close.
Irish poker superstar Andy Black faired better, picking up a big stack early and bludgeoning his opponents with it all the way to the top five chip stack by the end of the day. Early in the day, Black picked up a big pot when his made a flush on the river, and he quickly called his opponent's all-in.
Fifty other players made it through the minefield of early play, with Henric Strath emerging as the chip leader. The field for Day 1b is anticipated to be larger, with even more star power, as 2006 EPT Dublin champ Roland De Wolfe, 2007 WSOP bracelet winner Katja Thater and 2007 World Champion Annette Obrestad take to the felt.
Here are the top ten chip stacks from Day 1a -
Henric Strath - 72,000
David Colclough - 46,000
Andy Black - 45,000
Malmai Csaba - 39,000
Johnny Lodden - 37,000
Andrew Grimason - 33,000
Brandon Schaefer - 27,500
Stig Top Rasmussen - 27,000
Hans Eskilsson - 25,300
Noah Boeken - 25,000