PokerStars Festival Hamburg: Vardjavand bags High Roller chip lead with 28 remaining

What do successful business men and women do when they reach a certain level of financial stability? Retire and take it easy? Sometimes, but actually that's rarely the case. Success usually drives a person to achieve more. When you have a taste for it, it's a motivator that keeps you driven. Just look at any High Roller tournament.

Their bankrolls may be big enough to take it easy, but that didn't stop a full house of players making their way into the Casino Schenefeld for the two-day PokerStars Festival Hamburg €2,200 High Roller.

On a rainy day in the second biggest city in Germany, 90 total entrants (80 unique and 10 re-entries) sat down to play 12 40-minute levels. When all was said and done, just 28 remained and the man leading them all is Toni Vardjavand.

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Vardjavand's today's victor

Vardjavand finished the day with 273,900, managing to multiply his starting stack by nine throughout the course of play. Andre Haneberg is next up with 221,900, followed by Sven Leu with 182,900.

Just 13 players will make any money, so take a moment to remind yourself what they're playing for:

1st€ 46,380
2nd€ 32,210
3rd€ 21,300
4th€ 16,670
5th€ 13,440
6th€ 10,480
7th€ 8,290
8th€ 6,460
9th€ 4,890
10th€ 3,750
11th€ 3,750
12th€ 3,490
13th€ 3,490

EPT8 Madrid champ Frederik Jensen had a pretty smooth day, putting together a top five stack at the dinner break and continuing to build it to 178,200 when the chip bags were brought out - good for fifth place in the chip counts. He won a big pot right at the end of the night when his pocket eights cracked Jay Tse's pocket kings, eliminating Tse in the process.

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Good showing from Jensen

Rewinding a bit, there were 67 players remaining by the time we reached the dinner break. As registration came to a close, Christian Freimuller held the chip lead as the first player to amass a six-figure stack; by the end of the day though, he dipped a bit to end with 61,600.

The other former EPT champs out in the field both ended proceedings in the top 10. Thang Duc Nguyen (who was victorious at EPT3 Baden) ended the day 180,300 (the third biggest stack), while Michael Schulze (EPT4 Warsaw champ) bagged up 78,200.

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Nguyen seeks another win

Here's how the final 28 stack up:

Toni Vardjavand273,900
Andre Haneberg221,900
Sven Leu182,900
Thang Duc Nguyen180,300
Frederik Jensen178,200
Grzegorz Derkowski144,700
Jakob Madsen136,900
Vytis Paskevicius130,000
Daniel Belov98,200
Kim De Han94,600
Rishi Bhasin91,700
Michael Schulze78,200
Roberto Manfredi78,000
Vitaly Karayvan74,600
Mia Wallace71,600
Robin Kazemieh71,200
Florian Bach67,900
Christian Freimuller61,600
Eric Henning56,500
Martin Wendt54,300
Aleksandar Tomovic49,900
Jonas Wohlgemuth49,800
Erkan Sonmez48,200
Oleg Volosin43,600
Said Hossein Madani42,000
Negjdet Avdylaj37,800
Adnan Dizdarevic35,100
Fredrik Andersson34,900

Of course, where there are survivors there must be casualties. Jan von Halle, Walid Abdi Ali, Andrey Andreev, Waldemar Kopyl, Jan Timo Jobmann, Francesco Delfoco, Moussa Khanafer, Dimitri Steinfeuer, Peyman Luth, and Kenan Celik are just a few of the players who tried and failed in this one.

Those still with chips will be back in action tomorrow (Wednesday) for the second and final day of this High Roller. Meanwhile, we'll also turn our attention to the Main Event, which kicks off with Day 1A at 1pm CET.

If you're thinking of coming down to Hamburg to play the Main but can't make it tomorrow, don't fret; Day 1B begins at 1pm CET on Thursday, followed by a turbo Day 1C flight on Friday (also at 1pm). If you bust any of those flights, you're still not entirely out! There's also a Day 1D hyper turbo flight at 8pm Friday, which is only open to people who have already played a Day 1.

Until tomorrow, Gute Nacht!

To read through the live updates from today's action, check in with our friends at PokerNews.

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Jack Stanton
@J_W_Stanton in Live Poker