EPT Warsaw: In the money

We came to play down to the money. We got there, but the route was less predictable and featured a few more bumps than anyone had imagined. Attention is always on the chip leaders - the players most likely to shape days three and four - but today their story was one of collapse and elimination as one by one the big stacks from this afternoon had turned to dust by this evening.

Frenchman Antony Lellouche, who was protected behind a chip wall that peaked at 100,000 today, succumbed to a change in luck which, on day one, had favoured him royally, starting with a fortuitous kings against aces double up. Nothing like that luck today for Lellouche, busting from the tournament with panache but empty handed, after a last ditch clash with Andrea Benelli.

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Antony Lellouche

The former EPT London champion Mark Teltscher met the same fate, exiting within throwing distance of the money. Teltscher was one of eight former champions playing today, another being the Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand Grospellier who was looking good for a run on the double before he too was shuffled away by a day designed to ruin the wealthy.

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Roland de Wolfe

That there were so many former champions in the field had the press corps cooing over the possibility of a first double winner. The list was distinguished – Jepson, Ruthenberg, Teltscher, ElkY, Perrault, Griffin. All arrived with hope but all were rail bound, leaving the responsibly on the shoulders of two players.

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Arnaud Mattern

The EPT Dublin champion Roland de Wolfe looks to be the boy most likely, ending the day by bagging 170,000. There remains another hope in EPT Prague winner Arnaud Mattern, who rallied late on, bursting the bubble, and finishing with 130,000. But if tomorrow is as cruel to the leaders as today there’s no counting out the Frenchman; a cautionary tale for tonight’s chip leader, the PokerStars qualifier Sergey Shcherbatskiy on 265,900.

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Chip leader Sergey Shcherbatskiy

Poised to cause havoc tomorrow are the remaining Team PokerStars Pros Dario Minieri and Isabelle Mercier. While Minieri spent much of the day being massaged to within an inch of his life, he massaged a stack that yesterday had touched the 3,000 line before lifting off to fly where the air is thin, an altitude of 211,000.

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Team PokerStars Pro Isabelle Mercier

While those kinds of numbers make for sweet dreams, spare a thought for Hans Eskilsson, EPT Warsaw’s bubble boy, who leaves with nothing more than the nightmares of a white knuckle losing battle in Casinos Poland. Eskilsson had done well to have recovered from a crippling hand earlier in the day, but when making his move was unable to steer his A-9 passed the A-Q of Moises Ramos or more crucially the pocket kings of Mattern. With him gone this chapter of the EPT was closed.

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Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri

Tomorrow the remaining 24 will return and start again, seeking not just a reward for survival, but a coveted final table seat. Will the possibility of a double winner remain alive by that time? And will Team PokerStars Pro Minieri remain a contender to win the EPT title he must feel he deserves? Just another day on the European Poker Tour, and all the specifics are lined up for you below.

Day two begins
Champions to your left and your right
Leading the pack
No hanging about
Back where they started
Slicing through the field
More of the same
Puro purring
Down to 45
Dinner break stats
Another table breaks
Crashed and burned
No one is safe
Drama in the closing stages
Staying alive

That’s the English taken care of. Fancy giving Hungarian another bash? Or Swedish? Perhaps now the time is right to try German or Polish? Choose any of these links to help broaden your horizons or take the easier route of a few video blogs on PokerStars.tv which includes this earlier encounter with Team PokerStars Pro Isabelle Mercier...

Watch EPT Warsaw 08: Interview with Isabelle Mercier Day 2 on PokerStars.tv

Meanwhile the full official chip count is available on the chip count page. Goodnight!

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour