EPT Barcelona: Chip leaders and dangermen

The inaugural EPT San Remo champion Jason Mercier -- who is neither Canadian nor a maths teacher as someone may have once written on this very blog, I can't think who -- had built up a mighty stack during the first couple of levels here today. And now he's just lost most of it, to a Dutch player named Michiel Brummelhuis, whose A-K improved to a broadway straight by the time the river was dealt. Mercier mucked but seemed mighty peeved; there was the whiff of an outdraw. Brummelhuis is probably now the early chip leader, with more than 30,000, while Mercier still has a more-than-manageable 15,000.

Both will need all their ample skills to remain alive on what is becoming a massively competitive table. The Finnish pot-limit Omaha specialist Ilari Sahamies first came to prominence in this very casino, when he relentlessly set about destroying a feature table also including Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, Christer Johansson and Brandon Schaefer. Since then Sahamies has gone on to play the biggest cash games in the online poker world, often against the likes of David Benyamine, who is also here.

David Benyamine

And in a neat twist of fate, Benyamine's girlfriend, Erica Schoenberg, is sitting next to Sahamies, who is two along from Mercier, who is next to Brummelhuis. Yeah, tough table.

And here's another one: Greg Raymer has now been joined by Danny Ryan, Barny Boatman and Sverre Sundbo. Dave "Devilfish" Ulliot, meanwhile, is out.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour