EPT London: Lukasz Golzyt takes early lead
The short version is that play has ended on the first eight levels of play at the European Poker Tour main event in London. Frankly, the long version doesn't really have much more to add to it.
There was no defining moment in the day's action at the London Hilton Metropole today, only the sense that, quite rightly, nothing could be won today, only lost; the kind of uncharacteristic pragmatism that can really take the edge off a day.
Still, it would be out of character for EPT London not to provide something to talk about and today that talking point is that Lukasz Golzyt, from Poland, a player unheard of before today, snuck up on the field to take the chip lead tonight, closing on 211,600.
Chip leader Lukasz Golzyt
As a spectacle there may not have been fireworks. But, in the city that is home to Debrett's and the House of Lords, there was at least one member of poker's aristocracy on hand to open proceedings, poker legend Doyle Brunson gracing an EPT field for the first time in his illustrious career. His welcome present was a set of aces within minutes of the start. He bags up 45,200 tonight.
As expected the first wave of Team PokerStars Pro took their seats today, amid a field of 280 players that was finally reduced to 162.
Barry Greenstein (73,500 chips) had a tentative start before dumbfounding numerous opponents. Sebastian Ruthenberg (61,800) did likewise, on a table that featured Nicholas Chouity (in), Xuan Liu (in) and Nick Binger (in).
Nacho Barbero (49,200) will return on Sunday for Day 2, as will JP Kelly (13,600), Andre Akkari (48,000) and Ana Marquez (98,000).
It was a tough day for Arnaud Mattern (13,200) whose plans for an early breakaway were thwarted. He returns, as does Fatima Moreira de Melo (43,500), Theo Jorgensen (38,400) and the mustachioed Ville Wahlbeck (50,000).
If Day 1a suffered from poor-relation syndrome tomorrow's playlist should make up for it with a field of close to 500 expected. It will be an impressive field, part of which is currently limbering up in the media and side events filling in the gaps inside the Kings Ballroom tournament area.
In the most recent EPT in Barcelona Eugene Katchalov caught the headlines for an almost Triple Crown winning performance. He plays tomorrow, as does Daniel Negreanu and another top ranking tournament player at the moment, Jason Mercier. Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier isn't bad either. He also plays.
The most recent British winner of EPT London David Vamplew (27,700) played today. The one before that, Vicky Coren, plays tomorrow. Coren, along with Vanessa Rousso, Liv Boeree and Boris Becker are currently minding their p's and q's in the media event. Win or lose in that, they'll be here tomorrow.
Boris Becker warming up
The events of today, albeit interrupted by internet failure, can be read in detail at the links below, with a full rundown of who's winning and losing on the official chip count page, which should become official shortly, when the officials have made it so.
Parliament, by night...
Until tomorrow, it's goodnight from London.