EPT San Remo: Georgios Manousos leads but big names lead chase
If there was a running theme at this year's European Poker Tour main event in San Remo, it might be one regarding established, recognisable professionals being foremost in the field; names we're all familiar with defying the San Remo convention of new and temporary local heroes barnstorming their way to the lead.
Not this week.
Georgios Manousos may lead, bagging up 573,900 tonight having snatched the lead at the bell, and Germano Martucci may lay in second place on 545,300, but it's a largely a familiar affair, with Kevin Vandersmissen in third place with 534,300.
Vandersmissen might not be the name you'd find most familiar, but anyone who saw the Belgian's performance at EPT Snowfest will understand why to take note, after his memorable finale against Vladimir Geshkenbain. The Belgian started with less than 60,000 today, a ten-fold increase with which to take into Day 3. He at least has the momentum.
Elsewhere, as the sun shined gloriously on San Remo, former Champions were putting together the resources they'd need for a second run for the silverware, eyeing what is the penultimate opportunity to become the first double EPT winner before the Champion of Champions event in Madrid next month effectively guarantees it, albeit with a few asterisks attached.
The marina in San Remo
Carter Phillips, who won EPT Barcelona in Season 6, spent time at the top today, the first player to break the 300,000 mark, finishing with 496,400 today. Fabrice Soulier, who powered his way to 14th place at EPT Berlin two weeks ago, also finished strongly on 441,100, while US raider Victor Ramdin, still free-rolling from his self-described incredible run of cards yesterday, took full advantage of normal service having been resumed to bag up 302,600 tonight, having laid down kings versus aces pre-flop in the final five hands.
Not a former champion exactly but a headline none the less, is Vanessa Selbst, who bags up 92,000 tonight, having her stack slashed with just minutes remaining on the day.
The Team PokerStars Pro this month made North American Poker Tour history, winning the Mohegan Sun leg for an astonishing second time. What with her World Series bracelet, Selbst remains on course for the third leg of poker's "Grand Slam", with just this and a WPT title alluding her. Yes, we made up the Grand Slam thing, but the story remains: big stack or short stack, Selbst is proving unstoppable.
With EPT Grand Final winner Nicolas Chouity (260,100) and World Champion Joe Cada (421,700) also in the mix, not to mention yesterday's leader Ruben Visser (114,000), Day 3 should prove fascinating.
They'll return tomorrow, albeit in the absence of Sebastian Ruthenberg, Salvatore Bonavena and Marcin Horecki, Pieter de Korver, Alex Gomes and Angel Guillen, all of whom were among those departing today. Barry Greenstein went too (thanks to Ludovic Lacay), as did Antoine Saout (thanks to Xuan Liu).
For a full list of those who will be joining the leaders tomorrow, go to the Official Chip Count Page which details all the scores of the 164 survivors from today. You can also find a detailed account of the day by clicking through the links below and the DAY THREE SEAT DRAW is available at the appropriate link.
That's all from an eventful day, one of poker, bunting, celebratory
fizzy wine "champagne" and good cheer. Our thanks (and apologies) to Robin Scherr, our German blogger (sorry about the flag thing Robin), and to Dutch blogger Steven Smith, who in good moods tries to claim he's Scottish. Also thanks to the matrimonially neutral Italian blogger Matteo Viola, and for the photography the suitably patriotic Neil Stoddart.
We're now going to catch the last rays of sunshine before returning tomorrow for five more levels of poker from Casino San Remo. Usual hyperbole accepted, it should be quite a good one.
Until then, it's goodnight from San Remo.