EPT London: Benny Spindler in control going into Day 3
Finish the day with the chip lead once and it can be written off as chance. Do it twice, in a row, in the same event, and you start getting people's attention. Not that Benny Spindler didn't find it easy to do that - what with a tournament record worth nearly $2 million - but Spindler bags up 469,800 tonight, good for the lead after his table topping performance yesterday.
Two years ago the young German arrived in London on the back of a breakout year, finishing third in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, and finishing 12th in the London main event, enjoying a twitter spat with Annette Obrestad in the process. His transformation into high roller has since been completed.
Chip leader Benny Spindler
Tonight he packed up his chips as those around him departed, talking over each other to retell the story of their day. Some of them patted Spindler on the back on their way, no doubt envious of the time it was taking him to pack up. He may have relied on skill today but he wasn't about to ruin that with frivolity, paying his respects to fate by declining to smile too much for the camera, or giving away anything to some reporter wanting details; at least not until he wins the lot.
Spindler's story grows more interesting. The next chapter starts tomorrow.
It's not always the star attractions that get the notices though. Just take Sandor Demjan for example, an unconventional performer who used a flamboyant mixture of curiosity and speculation to power what for some is a Sisyphean task but for Demjan was a pleasant journey by litter to a peak 350,500 chips high, carried on the frustrations of those unable to crack the Demjan code.
"Even with a stack of 300,000 I still think he's a dog to make the money," said Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein during a break, who spent his day at Demjan's table, before busting midway through the day. Tomorrow we will have an answer to Greenstein's prediction.
One player who will still be here to find that out is Doyle Brunson, a kind of guest of honour in the main event, playing his first EPT on what is a late summer grand tour of Europe. Brunson plays on with a stack of 202,400.
Team PokerStars Pros, so prominent yesterday, today found poker's reaper knocking on their door. Of those that started only a few remain at the close.
Jason Mercier, whose bold claim hand written on to his bag of chips last night, that he was in fact the next winner of the EPT London main event, lives on, although he may stick to just name, nationality and serial number when it comes to bagging up his 88,300 tonight.
Others returning include Humberto Brenes (151,500), Ana Marquez (75,600), Sebastian Ruthenberg (169,900) and Juan Manuel Pastor (217,300), all of whom will grace Day 3.
That means no Joe Hachem, no Boris Becker, no Ville Wahlbeck, no Eugene Katchalov, no Vicky Coren, no JP Kelly, no Arnaud Mattern, no Theo Jorgensen, no Ivan Demidov, no Joe Cada, no Andre Akkari, no Vanessa Rousso - all of whom busted today.
Spindler leads going into Day 3 with a chase pack including Basile Yaiche (403,600), Jamie Rosen (405,000), Martins Adeniya (395,000) and Steven Kelly (346,200), who busted Matthias de Meulder at the bell. Read their story, and those of the surviving 159 players today, at the links below...
That's all from EPT London for tonight, although if you're keen, pop along to the Vic on the Edgware Road where the EPT London Ladies event plays down to a winner tonight. You can also fill the time browsing the official chip counts from the main event today on the Official Chip Count Page. Otherwise it's back here for a 12 noon start tomorrow.
London's South Bank
For now, it's goodnight from London.