EPT Loutraki: Julian Herold is first leader of new promised land
Greece has waited a long time for the European Poker Tour to find its way to its shores - something like 302,011 years, give or take a week or two. But within about nine minutes of day 1A of EPT Loutraki, the Hellenics had shown us that they were more than ready for this level of competition.
That's how long it took for our first few players to dust off their 30,000 starting stack, the equivalent of a €4,400 buy-in. The combined brain-power of Socrates, Aristotle, Pythagorus and Demis Roussos would doubtless have been proud.
All joking aside, this was a day of EPT competition entirely in keeping with how these things normally progress. We started with 145 runners, we finished with 102, and Julian Herold is the chip leader. It's a formula not so different from squares on the hypotenuse, and no less reliable.
In a good month for German players, Herold, the latest leader from Deutschland, has a stack of 138,425.
He heads the likes of McLean Karr (103,100), Roman Makhlin (102,100), Alexios Zervos (97,425) and Rupert Elder (82,700), who all made hay over seven one-hour levels and will return on Thursday for day two.
Among the chasing pack are the Team PokerStars Pro Ana Marquez (41,475), as well as former EPT champions David Vamplew (34,050), Mats Gavatin (45,775), Kent Lundmark (31,100), Roberto Romanello (20,300) and the aforementioned Elder.
Their progress will always mean pain for others, and the likes of Marcin Horecki, Richard Toth, Fernando Brito, Ken Lennaard and Brandon Cantu are among those seeking alternative entertainment tonight. Good luck to them: it's blowing a gale on the Gulf of Corinth at the moment, so unless they're into midnight kiting, they'd be better off sticking to the side events.
Tomorrow's day 1B begins at noon at Club Loutraki Hotel. There are still seats on incoming planes, so see you then.
Look back on today's level-by-level coverage by clicking the red below.
Full chip counts are on the chip-count page.
That's all for now. Goodnight.