PokerStars Festival Marbella: Thora tops them all as big names fall

Sure as night follows day then Day 1B follows Day 1A in a PokerStars Festival Main Event. Almost as sure is that Day 1B will attract more players than Day 1A and blow me down that's what happened today at the Casino Marbella in the PokerStars Festival Marbella Main Event.

What's more, we didn't even get a sweat. Before play had started Day 1B had eclipsed the 303 runners on Day 1A and it topped out at 444 players. The maths and stats geeks among you will know that if you add the two numbers together you'll get 747. That all means the €700,000 guarantee has been smashed and it's a number that will climb higher still. That's because the Day 1C turbo flight starts at 10 pm here in Marbella. Should it attract 98 runners or more we'll have another record breaker on our hands.

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It was a busy day in Marbella

It'll be quite the field too as today's bust outs came thick and fast. Among those players to have been left potless today were: Anton Wigg, Ludovic Geilich, Sebastian Malec and Isidoro Barrena. That's two EPT and two UKIPT/ESPT winners if you didn't know. The turbo Day 1C is only open to players who've busted on 1A or 1B and when you add them to the likes of Fatima Moreira de Melo, Marcin Horecki and Stephen Hendry - who all busted on Day 1A - it looks like being a tough crowd in the turbo flight. Manu 'manuverd0n' Bardón may also be involved and he's one of a slew of talented Spanish online grinders who're at the festival, as we discovered earlier.

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Malec - mullered

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Wigg - wamboozled

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Geilich - gone

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Barrena - banished

While those big names will have to try their luck again there's no such need for Thora Arntzen as she bagged the Day 1B chip lead. She ran her starting stack of 25,000 all the way up to 204,200 which, whilst great, didn't eclipse the 295,100 that Hugo Benitez bagged on Day 1A. It's not a position Arntzen, who has $611 dollars in live earnings, has found herself in too many times and she asked our blogger to help double check her chips at the end of the day. Don't worry you've got the chip lead! Other end of day big stacks include Stan Kutsev (196,200) and Alejandro Galiana (160,000).

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Arntzen bagged the biggest stack

They'll both be back at noon tomorrow for 'moving day' on which the bubble will burst and big stacks will be built. We'll bring you overnight chip counts, the Day 2 seat draw and, hopefully, the prize pool details once the turbo flight has continued. Keep an eye on the widget to the right (or at the bottom for mobile users) and also check out the @PokerStarsBlog and @PokerStarsLive Twitter accounts where that information will also be made available. For now, though it's good night from Marbella.

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Nick Wright
@PokerStars in Live Poker