Game of skill but Chance on top at EPT London

ept-thumb-promo.jpgAs a city London is a signatory to that old western decree known as "Saturday night," the Springsteenian theory, imported from the United States that now spans the civilised world - that a town's worth is determined by its late night weekend hospitality. Sure, some may prefer an early night ahead of Sunday, but the next 24 hours for the rest of us will be soothed by good friends, paracetamol and liver salts in the morning, while we plan roasts in the afternoon, and watch Antiques Roadshow in the evening, all the while trying not to dwell too much on Monday.

Right now all that is taking place outside. Not far from here young revellers, not yet wearied by time or some bad pints, practice this religion, zigzag their way along the city's tubes and highways, providing footage for police-based reality television, and making the kebab industry the immune-to-recession industry that it is.

But while those masses cry havoc outside, the dogs of war inside have whittled an EPT London field once 128 strong into just 24 today. It took a while, a few hours and a beef stroganoff dinner break longer than originally thought, but now, as the nightclubs open, including Jalouse, which hosts the PokerStars Party tonight, only three tables remain, led by top dog Chance Kornuth.

Chip leader Chance Kornuth

Kornuth's day can best be described as inspired. A fearless furlough from 128,400 chips to a closing stack of 2,302,000, which leaves him nearly half a million chips ahead of second placed Per Ummer on 1,763,000.

Per Ummer

EPT London boasted one of the tour's biggest fields, and it can boast the best. Poker heavyweights including Team PokerStars Pros Thomas Bichon, Joe Hachem and Chad Brown, along with Ummer, Tom Marchese and John Juanda remain, accompanied by local heroes giving tonight's dancing a miss; David Vamplew, Matt Perrins, Rumit Somaiya and Jamie Burland.

On course for the Triple crown? Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem

Free now to go downtown, Team PokerStars Pro Chad Brown, railed by Vanessa Rousso

Amid the defeated today was a cast that would have graced any bespoke final table; the likes of Daniel Negreanu (his first EPT cash), JP Kelly, Arnaud Mattern, Greg Raymer, Alex Gomes, Phil Ivey, Jake Cody and Chino Rheem, each leaving the Hilton with some spending money. A full list of those payouts can be found on the prize winners page, while tonight's official chip counts can be found here.

You win some, you lose some, Daniel Negreanu earlier today

You lose some, you win some, Salvatore Bonavena

Tonight the 24 who remain will imbibe just a wee-snifter of Saturday night. The others, well, they're free to unleash themselves on the PokerStars party; the first shuttles ferrying revellers are heading there right now from this capsule world of cards and chips; like escape pods returning to earth. The highlights of that adventure will be shown on World's Wildest Police Videos the blog tomorrow.

Dealers, caught in their natural environment, earlier today

You can also find coverage of the High Roller event which started today, 77 players paying the £20,000 entry fee, a field that was reduced to 35 at the close tonight. Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst is the overnight chip leader.

High roller chip leader Vanessa Selbst

To recap on all the day's events check out the links below, as Toby Lewis kindly demonstrated earlier today...

Toby Lewis, unable to take his eyes off the PokerStars Blog

Day 2 seat draw
Level 15, 16 & 17 updates
Level 18 & 19 updates
Level 20, 21 & 22 updates

That's all for today. As always our thanks go to our just-nod-smile-and-pretend-you-understand-them-lads, foreign bloggers, writing in German, Dutch, Italian and Swedish. Photo credit is due to both Neil Stoddart and Mickey May.

Tower Bridge

Shame on you if you've simply scrolled down the page to watch the video blog wrap up of the day, but here it is anyway...

We meet here again tomorrow at noon to play down to the final table of EPT London. Bring drinks, snacks, pepto-bismol and an F5 button. It should be a good one.

Until then, thanks for reading. Cheerio.