EPT Snowfest: Berendsen survives buffeting to emerge on top of day 1B

ept-thumb-promo.jpgYesterday's opening day of Snowfest was unusual, but not just because we were in a log cabin in the mountains.

All things considered, it was a peculiarly lethargic day of poker, and although we lost more than half the field and watched a few stacks grow close to ten times their starting size, there wasn't really that much notable action.


Alpine Palace, home of Snowfest

That was yesterday, this is today. Or rather this was today, as day 1B has just wrapped in the Austrian Alps - and it was bedlam. You know you're in for a day of commotion when Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier is eliminated within 90 minutes - a flopped set of kings not good enough against Gabriele Lepore's turned straight. Lepore had started the hand with T♣7♣. Yep, it was that kind of day.

By the end of it, after they had played nine one-hour levels, the leader of the pack was Koen Berendsen, a PokerStars player from Holland. He wound up with 162,200 chips, not quite as many as yesterday's force David Wintersberger (290,200) but a very healthy stack considering the vicious buffeting going on around him.


Koen Berendsen: much to smile about

Another quiet force was Ivo Donev, who managed to knock out Roberto Romanello in a huge pot, when they both had flush draws, but Donev made a winning pair of fives on the river. Donev, a regular on the EPT, ended the day with 160,000. That's pretty close to the top.


Ivo Donev: Peering at the chip lead

That said, the most providential aspect of both Berendsen and Donev's day was that they never had to share a table with Hermann Pashca, who was the other major force for a long period.


Hermann Pascha: A full day of fun - or your money back

Pascha, the proprietor of a string of "satisfaction or your money back" gentlemen's clubs in Germany, was the star attraction from very early on, breaking the 100,000 barrier before many players had taken the shrink wrap off their chips. He got up to a high point of about 160,000, but his late slide was also remarkable. Pascha finished with 16,000, half his starting stack, but he was by far the most visible and vocal presence and enjoyed himself the most.

Other notables heading into day two include these big stacks: Luca Cainelli (157,600), Nasr El Nasr (140,100), Lex Veldhuis (134,300) and Eric Friedman (133,800). And these big names: Jim Collopy (72,400), Luis Medina (34,000), Florian Langmann (36,000), Luca Pagano (96,600), Rino Mathis (104,900), Lilly Becker (99,800), Johannes Steindl (80,000), Richard Toth (25,600) and Allan Baekke (62,400).


Lex Veldhuis: Battled back from less than 9,000


Johannes Steindl: Prospered in the Alps

The full list of the day 1b survivors will be on the chip count page as soon as we have it.

The list of players falling today gives an indication of how tough it was out there. In addition to ElkY, we lost Nuno Coelho, Nicolas Levi, Boris Becker, Dario Minieri, Anton Alleman, Jan Heitmann, Rob Hollink, George Danzer, Mark Vos, Ramzi Jelassi, Sandra Naujoks, JP Kelly, Salvatore Bonavena, Henrique Pinho, Pieter De Korver and Kevin MacPhee.


Anton Allemann: An early casualty


JP Kelly: Another one down

None of them can now win the €445,000 first prize, nor for that matter any of the prizes detailed on the payout structure and prizewinners page. That's where you'll find the details of how they're carving this €1,853,680 prize pool.

Check back on all today's action with the following links:

Introduction: Fit and healthy for day 1B
Levels 1 and 2 live updates
Levels 3 and 4 live updates
Levels 5, 6 and 7 live updates
Levels 8 and 9 live updates

And here's a peer into the mind of the Serial PokerStars Qualifier Pierre Neuville. It's worth a few minutes of anyone's time.

Check out all this in German, Dutch or Italian. And head over to PokerStars.tv for videos and that.

There were 140 survivors from today, and about 124 from yesterday, meaning it'll be another packed house when they come back tomorrow. We'll be here, make sure you are too. The full seat draw for day 2 is here.



All pictures are (c) Neil Stoddart.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour