EPT Berlin: Thorson heads chase of elusive Tuan as day 1b closes
At any stop on the European Poker Tour, the mid-point of day 1B is the moment we remove a few question marks. "How many?" and "How much?" are the posers that plague the early stages, but once the till is closed and all beans have been counted, we tend to know how many chasers there are and what one of them stands to win.
Berlin has been a little bit different. No matter how many players showed up over the past couple of days, we'd known for months that they would be chasing an obscene and obese €1 million first prize. We also knew that that golden carrot would attract them in their droves, and sure enough 557 challengers showed up today to swell our inaugural EPT Berlin field to 945. Gulp. That's a San Remo away from a European record.
Tonight, Tu Tuan To, from Germany, can call himself the temporary king of Europe. It took him nine levels since noon to amass 212,600 chips - the leader from today, and a small handful less than Kfir Yumin's 213,500 tally from yesterday. Tuan zipped off so fast tonight that he escaped even our speediest snapper's lens.
No matter, because as ever, there's a formidable chasing pack. Those with the biggest stacks include Marc Inizan (177,000), Lennart Holt (170,800), Dmitri Hefter (161,200), Thomas Laumer (140,500), and David Parides (140,200).
Those with the biggest reputations include the Team PokerStars Pro cluster of William Thorson (133,100), Vadim Markushevski (93,800), Jude Ainsworth (138,100), Noah Boeken (54,100), Florian Langmann (134,000), Julian Thew (71,600), Johannes Strassmann (100,700), Marcel Luske (75,400), Thierry van den Berg (36,200) and Chad Brown (45,400) in their ranks.
Fatima De Melo (95,900) and Boris Becker (20,500) continue to blaze a trail from sports arena to poker table too, while the bestselling novelist Charlotte Roche wrote herself into the overnight counts. She closed with 17,700 chips.
The full list of approximately 290 survivors are over on the current chip count page, and you can refresh your memory of yesterday's battle-weary rabble on the day 1a chip count list. (Neither of those lists will feature the fallen: Luca Pagano, Rino Mathis, Lex Veldhuis, Jan Heitmann and the defending champion Sandra Naujoks perished today.)
Today's action, blow-by-blow (and weak joke by weak joke) can be relived by clicking any of the following links:
Moving pictures are at PokerStars.tv. Photography is courtesy and © Neil Stoddart.
That's that. Good night from us, and goodnight from Gemma.
EPT Dealer Gemma